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All about: Avar

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Generic name: Sulfacetamide sodium and sulfur
Brand names: Avar

Why is Avar prescribed?

Avar is a gel used to treat the inflammation and skin eruptions associated with acne and rosacea. Avar Green is a tinted version of the gel that helps tone down redness. Avar can also be used to treat the dry, scaly skin known as seborrheic dermatitis.

Avar is intended for use on a daily basis. It may take several weeks to see an improvement in the skin.

Most important fact about Avar

Avar contains an ingredient similar to sulfa drugs such as Bactrim and Septra. On rare occasions these medications have caused severe allergic reactions. If you are allergic to any sulfa drug, you may also be allergic to Avar. In addition, if you have taken one of these medications in the past, you may have developed a "hidden" allergy to sulfa drugs that might show up when you use Avar. Notify your doctor immediately at the first sign of a severe reaction such as skin rash, sore throat, fever, joint pain, cough, shortness of breath, abnormal skin paleness, reddish or purplish skin spots, or yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes.

How should you take Avar?

Apply a thin film to the skin, being careful to avoid the eyes. Wash your hands after each application.

If you have rosacea, be sure to avoid things that make your face turn red or flush. Typical offenders include hot or spicy foods, hot drinks such as tea or coffee, and alcohol. You should also avoid using cleanser and other facial products that contain alcohol or astringents.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature. Do not allow the gel to freeze.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue using Avar.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Reddening of the skin, scaling skin, skin irritation

Why should Avar not be prescribed?

Do not use Avar if you are allergic to sulfa drugs (see "Most important fact about Avar") or if you have kidney disease.

Special warnings about Avar

Inform your doctor if your skin becomes excessively red or irritated while using Avar.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Avar

No interactions have been reported.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Avar during pregnancy and breastfeeding have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, notify your doctor immediately. Small amounts of the drug could appear in breast milk. If you are nursing, use Avar with caution.

Recommended dosage

Apply a thin film of Avar gel to the affected areas 1 to 3 times daily, or as directed by your doctor.


An overdose is unlikely. However, if your skin becomes severely irritated, you should stop applying the medication and call your doctor.

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