Sulfacetamide sodium is used topically for the treatment of conjunctivitis and other superficial infections of the eye caused by susceptible bacteria.
Sulfacetamide sodium has also been used topically as an adjunct to oral sulfonamide therapy for the treatment of trachoma. The most widely used therapy for trachoma is topical treatment with erythromycin, tetracycline (no longer commercially available in the US), or sulfacetamide ointment, or oral erythromycin or a tetracycline. Oral azithromycin also is effective. Systemic anti-infective therapy (e.g., oral erythromycin, azithromycin, doxycycline) is used for the treatment of chlamydial conjunctivitis; data to support use of topical anti-infectives, in conjunction with systemic therapy, are not available.
Sulfacetamide sodium is used in combination with corticosteroids for the treatment of corticosteroid-responsive ocular conditions when a corticosteroid is indicated and bacterial infection or risk of infection exists. Concomitant topical corticosteroids may mask the clinical signs of bacterial, fungal, or viral infections and prevent recognition of ineffectiveness of sulfacetamide; suppression of hypersensitivity reactions to substances in the product and/or increased intraocular pressure may also occur. However, in one controlled study, the treatment of blepharitis with a combination of sulfacetamide and a corticosteroid resulted in a reduced healing time as compared to the use of sulfacetamide alone; some patients who received only sulfacetamide required subsequent steroid therapy for the management of continued and severe inflammation.
For systemic uses of sulfonamides, see Sulfonamides 8:12.20.