Description and Brand Names
Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex
US Brand Name
- Selsun Blue Medicated Treatment
- Tersi Foam
Canadian Brand Name
Selenium sulfide 1% and 2.5% strengths are used on the scalp to help control the symptoms of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
Selenium sulfide 2.5% strength is used also on the body to treat tinea versicolor (a type of fungus infection of the skin).
In the United States, the 2.5% strength is available only with your doctor's prescription.
This product is available in the following dosage forms:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
There is no specific information comparing use of selenium sulfide in infants and children with use in other age groups; however, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of selenium sulfide in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Blistered, raw, or oozing areas on your scalp or body—Use of this medicine on these areas may increase the chance of absorption through the skin
If you are using the 2.5% strength of selenium sulfide: Use this medicine only as directed. Do not use it more often than recommended on the label, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
If you are using the 1% strength of selenium sulfide : For best results, use this medicine at least 2 times a week or as directed by your doctor.
To use selenium sulfide for dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp:
Before using this medicine, wet the hair and scalp with lukewarm water.
Apply enough medicine (1 or 2 teaspoonfuls) to the scalp to work up a lather. Allow the lather to remain on the scalp for 2 to 3 minutes, then rinse.
Apply the medicine again and rinse well.
If this medicine is used on light or blond, gray, or chemically treated (bleached, tinted, permanent-waved) hair, rinse your hair well for at least 5 minutes after using the medicine to lessen the chance of hair discoloration.
After treatment, wash your hands well.
To use selenium sulfide for tinea versicolor of the body:
Apply the medicine to the affected areas of your body, except for your face and genitals (sex organs).
Work up a lather using a small amount of water.
Allow the medicine to remain on your skin for 10 minutes.
Rinse your body well to remove all the medicine.
Do not use this medicine if blistered, raw, or oozing areas are present on your scalp or the area of your body that is to be treated , unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Keep this medicine away from the eyes. If you should accidentally get some in your eyes, flush them thoroughly with water.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
For lotion dosage form:
For dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis:
Adults and children—If you are using the 1% lotion, use on the scalp two times a week. If you are using the 2.5% lotion, use on the scalp two times a week for two weeks, then use one time a week or less often.
Infants—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
For tinea versicolor:
Adults and children—Use the 2.5% lotion on the body one time a day for seven days.
Infants—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
If your condition does not get better after regular use of this medicine, or if it gets worse, check with your doctor.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Less common or rare
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Unusual dryness or oiliness of hair or scalp
Increase in normal hair loss
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.