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merthiolate vs mercurochrome

merthiolate vs mercurochrome

merthiolate vs mercurochrome

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merthiolate vs mercurochrome

A. Mercurochrome is a trade name for merbromin, a compound containing mercury and bromine. Merthiolate is a trade name for thimerosal, a compound containing mercury and sodium. … Thimerosal is still often used to help rid skin of bacteria before medical procedures.

What is Merthiolate?

Merthiolate is the trade name of thiomersal, which is an organomercury compound. It is a well-known antiseptic and antifungal agent. It is useful as a preservative for vaccines, in immunoglobulin preparations, as skin test antigens, antivenins, ophthalmic and nasal products, and tattoo inks.

The chemical formula of Merthiolate is C9H9HgNaO2S, and its molar mass is 404.81 g/mol. It appears as a white or slightly yellow powder having a density that is 2.5 times higher than the density of water. Upon melting, this powder tends to undergo decomposition. When considering the chemical structure of Merthiolate, it has mercury having a coordination number 2. This means there are two ligands that are attached to the mercury atom. The two ligands are thiolate group and ethyl group. There is a carboxylate group that is responsible for the solubility of this compound in water. Moreover, similar to many other mercury-containing compounds, Merthiolate also has a linear geometry. We can prepare this compound from organomercury chlorides.

Due to the presence of mercury, Merthiolate shows toxicity when inhaled, upon ingestion, and upon contact with skin. Moreover, this substance is highly toxic to aquatic environments and can cause long-lasting effects in aquatic environments.

merthiolate vs mercurochrome
merthiolate vs mercurochrome

How is this medicine (Merthiolate) best taken?

Use Merthiolate (benzalkonium chloride) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Do not take Merthiolate (benzalkonium chloride) by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, ears, and eyes (may burn).
  • Wash your hands before and after use. Do not wash your hands after use if putting this on your hand.
  • Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.
  • Put on affected skin and let dry.
  • The treatment area may be covered with a dressing.
  • To clean a wound, put on affected skin and wipe with sterile gauze.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Use a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not use 2 doses or extra doses.

What color is Merthiolate?

Introduced in the 1930s, merthiolate was a widely used antiseptic and as a preservative. Its hot-pink color produced stains that were difficult to remove.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Merthiolate?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Merthiolate (benzalkonium chloride). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • If signs get worse or last for more than 7 days, talk with the doctor.
  • Do not use large amounts of Merthiolate (benzalkonium chloride). Do not use over a large area, raw skin, or blisters. Talk with the doctor.
  • Use with care in a child younger than 2 years of age. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may cause harm if swallowed. If Merthiolate (benzalkonium chloride) is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Merthiolate (benzalkonium chloride) while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
merthiolate vs mercurochrome
merthiolate vs mercurochrome

What is Mercurochrome?

Mercurochrome™ is a product which was once widely marketed for use as a topical antiseptic. Thanks to changes in the way the US Food and Drug Administration regards Mercurochrome™, the product is not readily available in the United States today, although it can be found in many other regions of the world. This antiseptic is part of a family of products made with a base of merbromin, a chemical which must be suspended in an alcohol or water solution before it can be used as an antiseptic.

This product was marketed for use on minor cuts and scrapes during the 20th century. It typically had a reddish to brown color which would stain the skin when it was applied, and if it was suspended in alcohol, it might sting slightly. Mercurochrome™ was recommended for use on people of all ages, and many people in the middle of the 20th century had a bottle in the bathroom cabinet for household use.

What is Mercurochrome?

There are two issues with Mercurochrome™ and other merbromin products. The first is that they contain mercury, a metal which is known to be poisonous. Although no one has definitively linked Mercurochrome™ to mercury poisoning, presumably because the metal is only present in trace amounts, many people prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to mercury. The FDA originally grandfathered the drug in, and later decided that it should be banned until additional research could prove that it was safe for use.

The second issue with Mercurochrome™ is the color. The dark reddish to brown stain covers up the natural color of the skin around the wound, making it hard to detect the early signs of infection. Skin which is red and irritated will be difficult to see under a coating of Mercurochrome™, which means that the infection could be missed until it grows much larger. Clear topical antiseptics or antiseptics which do not stain are preferred so that wounds can be clearly visualized.

Can you put mercurochrome on an open wound?

Applying alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, mercurochrome or iodine onto a wound can delay healing and should be avoided. Consider putting a bandage, such as an adhesive strip, on the cut or graze, especially on the hands, legs and feet. Always put an adhesive strip across a cut, and not lengthwise.

merthiolate vs mercurochrome
merthiolate vs mercurochrome

Can Mercurochrome Solution be used for minor wounds, burns, and scratches and antisepsis of the umbilical cord?

Yes, minor wounds, burns, and scratches and antisepsis of the umbilical cord are among the most common reported uses for Mercurochrome Solution. Please do not use Mercurochrome Solution for minor wounds, burns, and scratches and antisepsis of the umbilical cord without consulting first with your doctor.

Why was mercurochrome taken off the market?

Furthermore, when mercurochrome was applied to the wound, it stained the skin red, making it more difficult to detect inflammation or infection. This ineffectiveness, combined with the fear of mercury toxicity from the mercurochrome being absorbed through the skin, resulted in the FDA ban.

Overdosage of Mercurochrome Solution

  • Do not use more than prescribed dose. Taking more medication will not improve your symptoms; rather they may cause poisoning or serious side-effects. If you suspect that you or anyone else who may have overdosed of Mercurochrome Solution, please go to the emergency department of the closest hospital or nursing home. Bring a medicine box, container, or label with you to help doctors with necessary information.
  • Do not give your medicines to other people even if you know that they have the same condition or it seems that they may have similar conditions. This may lead to overdosage.
  • Please consult your physician or pharmacist or product package for more information.

Expired Mercurochrome Solution

Taking a single dose of expired Mercurochrome Solution is unlikely to produce an adverse event. However, please discuss with your primary health provider or pharmacist for proper advice or if you feel unwell or sick. Moreover, Expired drug may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions. To be on the safe side, it is important not to use expired drugs. If you have a chronic illness that requires taking medicine constantly such as heart condition, seizures, and life-threatening allergies, you are much safer keeping in touch with your primary health care provider so that you can have a fresh supply of unexpired medications.

How do they work?

A. Mercurochrome is a trade name for merbromin, a compound containing mercury and bromine. Merthiolate is a trade name for thimerosal, a compound containing mercury and sodium.

Both these compounds kill some (but not all) disease-causing microbes by denaturing enzymes and other proteins so that the microbes’ metabolism is blocked; they do this by breaking up chemical bonds in the proteins.

Both have been widely used as topical antiseptics, applied to the surface of the skin of a living body. Thimerosal is still often used to help rid skin of bacteria before medical procedures. Mercurochrome is not widely used anymore.

Both Mercurochrome and Merthiolate (and iodine preparations, too) sting when applied to broken skin and can interfere with healing. Experts now recommend that first aid kits contain newer antibacterial creams, especially those containing bacitracins, a class of antibacterials first produced by other microorganisms.

merthiolate vs mercurochrome
merthiolate vs mercurochrome

What stings more Merthiolate or mercurochrome?

Hands-down for me, it was Mercurochrome over Merthiolate because of the sting factor. Every child of the 1950s knew Merthiolate burned more than Mercurochrome on an open wound. … Seems they contain worrisome ingredients known as Thimerosal and merbromin, commonly called mercury.

What is the Difference Between Merthiolate and Mercurochrome?

Merthiolate is the trade name of thiomersal which is an organomercury compound. Mercurochrome is an organomercuric disodium salt compound that is useful as a topical antiseptic for minor cuts and scrapes. The key difference between Merthiolate and Mercurochrome is that Merthiolate is a white or slightly yellow powder that can be used as an antiseptic and antifungal agent, whereas mercurochrome is a dark red liquid that can be used as an antiseptic and as a biological dye.


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