Silver sulfadiazine is an antibacterial drug used for making personal care products such as anti-burn creams. Silver sulfadiazine is listed in the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines and is widely used as an antibiotic for treating second and third degree burns on the skin. Silver sulfadiazine prevents the growth of bacteria and yeast on the skin. This drug is also commonly used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). Sulfadiazine, when combined with pyrimethamine, is used for curing the disease Toxoplasmosis. The typical Silver sulfadiazine anti-burn lotion/creams contain 1 percent silver sulpahdiazine in it. Maintaining this concentration is really important as silver when used in excessive quantities shows toxic effects.
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The healing capacity of silver sulfadiazine has been subject to wide speculation and numerous research studies. Cochrane, a non-profit organization, does not recommend the use of silver sulfadiazine as wounds take longer to heal when treated with medicines containing silver sulfadiazine. Despite varied market opinions; silver sulfadiazine remains to be one of the most popular medicines for treatment on burns as it’s is considered to be a powerful medication for burn wounds. Additionally, silver sulfadiazine is used in majority of the hospitals in North America as it is considered the most powerful treatment for burns. Silver sulfadiazine has been known to cause side effects such as nausea, dizziness and loss of appetite. Pregnant mothers and infants are recommended against the consumption of silver sulfadiazine in order to avoid these side effects. People having allergy to sulfa drugs are also advised not to use this medicine. These factors have limited the use of the compound in the global market.
Burn injuries have reached its epidemic proportions and are considered a healthcare problem more serious than other epidemics such as polio. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a civilian death from fire occurs about every two hours in the U.S., which in turn have increased the demand for the wound-care products. Silver-containing wound dressings such as silver sulfadiazine has proved their effectiveness and is the most widely used medicine to cure burn injuries. Owing to this, North America has emerged as the largest consumer as well as producer for anti-burn products. The U.S. Government grants funds for the research and development of medicines to fight burn wounds, which has subsequently increased the production of Silver sulfadiazine and other similar products. The market in Asia Pacific is still relatively unexplored.
However, countries such as China, India, Australia and Japan are expected to emerge as new players in the wound care market and are anticipated to serve as new revenue generators over the forecast period. Silver sulfadiazine is losing its edge as the major product of this industry as it has lot of undesired side effects due to which the effectiveness of Silver sulfadiazine is still being debated upon. Furthermore, the rising price of Silver, which is one of the prime raw materials for the production of silver sulfadiazine, is a matter of concern. In addition, for improving synthetic dressing materials, advanced technologies in wound treatment which include the xenogeneic tissue scaffold, endovascular arterial repair techniques, endoscopic subfascial ligation of venous perforators, recombinant growth factors, bilayered human dermal substitutes, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy is forcing silver sulfadiazine to lose its market importance.
Johnson & Johnson Limited, 3M Company, Baxter International Inc Monarch Pharmaceuticals, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. are some of the key players in this market.
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