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Mafenide is a broad spectrum antibacterial that is used occasionally for burns. It is applied topically twice a day. It has better solubility in eschar than either silver sulphadiazine or silver nitrate solution. This means that it has been used both for the prophylaxis and treatment of burn infection.

It is a carbonic anhydrase enzyme inhibitor and this leads to many of its side effects:

  • pain on application
  • alkaline diuresis:
    • when large volumes of mafenide are administered, this can lead to metabolic acidosis
    • withdrawal of the drug reverses metabolic acidosis within a couple of days

Last reviewed 01/2018