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Potassium nitrate/silver nitrate (On the skin)

Potassium Nitrate (poe-TAS-ee-um NYE-trate), Silver Nitrate (SIL-ver NYE-trate)

Treats small ulcers and wounds on the skin and mucous membranes, including the mouth, rectum, and vagina. It may also be used to stop nosebleeds or minor skin bleeding, or to remove warts and other small skin growths.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to silver nitrate or potassium nitrate.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • This medicine is not for long-term use.
  • You may apply this medicine directly to mucous membranes and other moist surfaces of your skin. For dry skin, you must dip the tip of the applicator in water immediately before using.
  • Do not swallow this medicine or get it in your eyes. If it does get in your eyes, wash your eyes with water for at least 15 minutes and call your doctor right away.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • This medicine may cause chemical burns or tissue damage if not used properly. Make sure to remove this medicine quickly after you apply it. Ask your doctor if you have any questions before you use this medicine.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering and peeling of skin where medicine is applied.
  • Pain, swelling, or reddened skin where medicine is applied.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blue or bluish-gray discoloration of the skin.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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