Selenium Sulfide



Selenium Sulfide is an antifungal used to treat dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp, and tinea capitis.

Brand Names
Selrx, Selsun Blue
Generic Name
Selenium Sulfide
DrugBank Accession Number

Selenium Sulfide is an antifungal agent as well as a cytostatic agent, slowing the growth of hyperproliferative cells in seborrhea. Selenium Sulfide is the active ingredient often used in shampoos for the treatment of dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and tinea capitis, a fungal infection that is primarily a disease of preadolescent children.

Small Molecule
Average: 143.09
Monoisotopic: 143.860663208
Chemical Formula
  • Selenii disulfidum
  • Selenium disulfide
  • Selenium disulphide
  • Selenium Sulfide
  • Selenium sulfide, micronized
  • Selenium sulphide
  • Selenium sulphide, micronized
  • Selenium(IV) disulfide
  • Selenium(IV) disulphide
  • Selenium(IV) sulfide
  • Selenium(IV) sulphide



For treatment of tinea versicolor, tinea capitis, dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp.

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Associated Conditions
Contraindications & Blackbox Warnings
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Selenium sulfide is an antifungal agent often used in shampoos for the treatment of dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Selenium sulfide is highly active in inhibiting the growth of P. ovale. It is also a proven cytostatic agent, slowing the growth of both hyperproliferative and normal cells in dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. A 0.6% micronized form of selenium sulfide is also safe and effective for dandruff.

Mechanism of action

Topical selenium sulfide may act by an antimitotic action, resulting in a reduction in the turnover of epidermal cells. It also has local irritant, antibacterial, and mild antifungal activity, which may contribute to its effectiveness. An antimitotic mechanism of action is suggested by data showing that selenium sulfide decreases the rate of incorporation of radioactively labeled thymidine into the DNA of dermal epithelial cells. The following organisms are generally considered susceptible to selenium sulfide in vitro: Malassezia furfur, Microsporum sp. including Microsporum audouinii and Microsporum canis, Pityrosporon sp., Trichophyton sp. including Trichophyton schoenleinii and Trichophyton tonsurans. Selenium sulfide has been shown to be sporicidal to T. tonsurans, the most common etiologic agent of tinea capitis. One in-vitro study demonstrated that 2.5% selenium sulfide was equivalent in sporicidal activity to both 1% and 2% zinc pyrithione.


There is no substantial absorption through intact skin. Absorption has been reported in patients with open lesions on the scalp or in patients using a 1% cream on the back - a patient with scalp lesions that used selenium shampoos had a level of selenium sulfide as high as 32 μg/ml in her urine.

Volume of distribution

Not Available

Protein binding

Not Available

Not Available
Route of elimination

Not Available


Not Available


Not Available

Adverse Effects
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No documented reports of serious toxicity in humans resulting from acute ingestion of selenium sulfide, however, acute toxicity studies in animals suggest that ingestion of large amounts could result in potential human toxicity.

Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available


Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
No interactions found.
Food Interactions
No interactions found.


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Active Moieties
International/Other Brands
Exsel Lotion Shampoo / Glo-Sel / Head & Shoulders Intensive Treatment / Versel Lotion
Brand Name Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Selenium SulfideShampoo22.5 mg/1mLTopicalMethod Pharmaceuticals, LLC2015-06-01Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideShampoo23 mg/1mLTopicalKmm Pharmaceuticals, Llc2022-02-28Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideShampoo22.5 mg/1mLTopicalbryant ranch prepack2015-06-01Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideShampoo23 mg/1mLTopicalCameron Pharmaceuticals, LLC2018-04-20Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideShampoo23 mg/1mLTopicalLaser Pharmaceuticals, LLC2020-06-02Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideShampoo22.5 mg/1mLTopicalAcella Pharmaceuticals, LLC2017-07-12Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideShampoo22.5 mg/1mLTopicalNoble Pharmaceuticals, Llc2017-05-09Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideShampoo22.5 mg/1mLTopicalLaser Pharmaceuticals, LLC2022-04-11Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideShampoo22.5 mg/1mLTopicalbryant ranch prepack2017-05-09Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideShampoo23 mg/1mLTopicalbryant ranch prepack2018-04-05Not applicableUS flag
Generic Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Selenium SulfideLotion25 mg/1mLTopicalMorton Grove Pharmaceuticals, Inc.1983-09-01Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideLotion25 mg/1mLTopicalCentral Texas Community Health Centers1983-09-01Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideLotion2.5 mg/100mLTopicalA-S Medication Solutions2006-09-25Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideLotion2.5 mg/100mLTopicalPadagis Israel Pharmaceuticals Ltd2006-09-25Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideLotion2.5 mg/100mLTopicalA S Medication Solutions2006-09-25Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideLotion2.5 mg/100mLTopicalRpk Pharmaceuticals, Inc.2006-09-25Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideLotion25 mg/1mLTopicalA-S Medication Solutions1983-09-01Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideLotion2.5 mg/100mLTopicalNucare Pharmaceuticals,inc.2006-09-25Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideLotion2.5 g/100mLTopicalPhysicians Total Care, Inc.2006-09-25Not applicableUS flag
Over the Counter Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Antidandruff MedicatedShampoo1.0000 mL/100mLTopicalCVS Health2010-07-06Not applicableUS flag
Antidandruff MedicatedShampoo1.0000 mL/100mLTopicalSafeway2010-08-05Not applicableUS flag
Care One MedicatedLiquid10 mg/1mLTopicalAmerican Sales Company2013-08-15Not applicableUS flag
Care One MoisturizingLiquid10 mg/1mLTopicalAmerican Sales Company2013-07-15Not applicableUS flag
Careone Medicated DandruffShampoo10 mg/1mLTopicalSpa Dent Inc2021-07-20Not applicableUS flag
Careone Medicated DandruffShampoo10 mg/1mLTopicalRetail Business Services, LLC2021-08-26Not applicableUS flag
Careone Medicated DandruffLiquid10 mg/1mLTopicalAmerican Sales Company2014-11-17Not applicableUS flag
CareOne Medicated Dandruff with MentholShampoo10 mg/1mLTopicalAmerican Sales Company2018-03-27Not applicableUS flag
Careone Moisturizing DandruffLiquid10 mg/1mLTopicalAmerican Sales Company2015-01-13Not applicableUS flag
Careone Moisturizing DandruffShampoo1 mL/100mLTopicalAmerican Sales Company2011-08-19Not applicableUS flag
Unapproved/Other Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Clease and TreatSelenium Sulfide (0.5 g/5g) + Benzoyl peroxide (0.8 g/5g)ClothTopicalQuinnova Pharmaceuticals, Inc.2009-01-01Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideSelenium Sulfide (23 mg/1mL)ShampooTopicalBowyn Labs, Llc2018-04-12Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideSelenium Sulfide (22.5 mg/1mL)ShampooTopicalKmm Pharmaceuticals, Llc2017-11-142023-01-31US flag
Selenium SulfideSelenium Sulfide (23 mg/1mL)ShampooTopicalKmm Pharmaceuticals, Llc2022-02-28Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideSelenium Sulfide (23 mg/1mL)ShampooTopicalbryant ranch prepack2018-04-20Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideSelenium Sulfide (22.5 mg/1mL)ShampooTopicalRochester Pharmaceuticals2011-03-302019-07-08US flag
Selenium SulfideSelenium Sulfide (23 mg/1mL)ShampooTopicalMethod Pharmaceuticals, LLC2018-04-05Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideSelenium Sulfide (23 mg/1mL)ShampooTopicalCameron Pharmaceuticals, LLC2018-04-20Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideSelenium Sulfide (22.5 mg/1mL)ShampooTopicalbryant ranch prepack2017-05-09Not applicableUS flag
Selenium SulfideSelenium Sulfide (22.5 mg/1mL)ShampooTopicalbryant ranch prepack2015-06-01Not applicableUS flag


ATC Codes
D01AE13 — Selenium sulfide
Drug Categories
Chemical TaxonomyProvided by Classyfire
This compound belongs to the class of inorganic compounds known as other non-metal sulfides. These are inorganic compounds containing a sulfur atom of an oxidation state of -2, in which the heaviest atom bonded to the oxygen belongs to the class of other non-metals.
Inorganic compounds
Super Class
Homogeneous non-metal compounds
Other non-metal organides
Sub Class
Other non-metal sulfides
Direct Parent
Other non-metal sulfides
Alternative Parents
Inorganic sulfides
Inorganic sulfide / Other non-metal sulfide
Molecular Framework
Not Available
External Descriptors
Not Available
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals
  • Fungi
  • Bacteria

Chemical Identifiers

CAS number
InChI Key


General References
  1. Johnson BA, Nunley JR: Treatment of seborrheic dermatitis. Am Fam Physician. 2000 May 1;61(9):2703-10, 2713-4. [Article]
  2. Chen C, Koch LH, Dice JE, Dempsey KK, Moskowitz AB, Barnes-Eley ML, Hubbard TW, Williams JV: A randomized, double-blind study comparing the efficacy of selenium sulfide shampoo 1% and ciclopirox shampoo 1% as adjunctive treatments for tinea capitis in children. Pediatr Dermatol. 2010 Sep-Oct;27(5):459-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2010.01093.x. Epub 2010 Aug 24. [Article]
PubChem Compound
PubChem Substance
RxList Drug Page Drug Page
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Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
Not AvailableCompletedTreatmentTinea Capitis1


  • Allergan herbert div allergan inc
  • Actavis mid atlantic llc
  • Ivax pharmaceuticals inc
  • Perrigo new york inc
  • Taro pharmaceuticals usa inc
  • Wockhardt eu operations (swiss) ag
  • Chattem inc
  • Advanced Pharmaceutical Services Inc.
  • Bioglan Pharmaceuticals Co.
  • Chattem Chemicals Inc.
  • DispenseXpress Inc.
  • Dispensing Solutions
  • Groupe Parima Inc.
  • Ide Interstate
  • Ivax Pharmaceuticals
  • Major Pharmaceuticals
  • Perrigo Co.
  • Pharmaderm
  • Pharmedix
  • Physicians Total Care Inc.
  • Professional Co.
  • Qualitest
  • Quinnova Pharmaceuticals
  • River's Edge Pharmaceuticals
  • Sonar Products Inc.
  • Taro Pharmaceuticals USA
  • Wockhardt Ltd.
Dosage Forms
ShampooTopical1.0000 mL/100mL
SuspensionTopical2.5 g/100ml
ShampooTopical1 mL/100mL
LiquidTopical10 mg/1mL
Lotion / shampooTopical1 g/100mL
ShampooTopical1 kg/100L
ShampooTopical325 mL/100mL
ShampooTopical0.6 g/100mL
Lotion / shampooTopical1.77 g/177mL
LiquidTopical1 mL/100mL
LotionTopical2.5 % w/v
LotionTopical2.5 mg/100mL
LotionTopical2.5 g/100mL
LotionTopical25 mg/1mL
ShampooTopical10 mg/1mL
ShampooTopical22.5 mg/1mL
ShampooTopical23 mg/1mL
Shampoo, suspensionTopical0.0225 mg/1mL
SuspensionTopical2.5 %
ShampooTopical1 g/100mL
ShampooTopical1 %
ShampooTopical1.0 %
ShampooTopical25 mg/ml
ShampooTopical0.025 g/1mL
ShampooTopical2.5 % w/v
ShampooTopical2.5 g/100g
SuspensionTopical120 ml
Aerosol, foamTopical1.44 g/70g
CreamTopical1 g/56.7g
CreamTopical2.5 %w/w
Unit descriptionCostUnit
Selenium Sulfide 2.5% Lotion 118ml Bottle19.99USD bottle
Selenium Sulfide 2.5% Lotion 120ml Bottle19.99USD bottle
Selenium sulfide 99% powder5.64USD g
Tersi 2.25% foam2.05USD g
Selenium sulfide 2.25% shampoo0.33USD ml
Selenium sulf 2.5% shampoo0.17USD ml
Selenium 2.5% lotion-shampoo0.1USD ml
Selenium sulfide 2.5% lotion0.1USD ml
Selsun blue shampoo x-medic0.04USD ml
Selsun blue 1% shampoo0.03USD ml
Selsun blue daily shampoo0.03USD ml
DrugBank does not sell nor buy drugs. Pricing information is supplied for informational purposes only.
Not Available


Experimental Properties
melting point (°C)100 °CNot Available
water solubilityPractically insolubleNot Available
Predicted Properties
Physiological Charge0Chemaxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count1Chemaxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0Chemaxon
Polar Surface Area0 Å2Chemaxon
Rotatable Bond Count0Chemaxon
Refractivity31.98 m3·mol-1Chemaxon
Polarizability9.59 Å3Chemaxon
Number of Rings0Chemaxon
Rule of FiveYesChemaxon
Ghose FilterNoChemaxon
Veber's RuleYesChemaxon
MDDR-like RuleNoChemaxon
Predicted ADMET Features
Human Intestinal Absorption+0.9946
Blood Brain Barrier+0.9786
Caco-2 permeable+0.6224
P-glycoprotein substrateNon-substrate0.908
P-glycoprotein inhibitor INon-inhibitor0.9531
P-glycoprotein inhibitor IINon-inhibitor0.9963
Renal organic cation transporterNon-inhibitor0.9254
CYP450 2C9 substrateNon-substrate0.8623
CYP450 2D6 substrateNon-substrate0.8451
CYP450 3A4 substrateNon-substrate0.8077
CYP450 1A2 substrateNon-inhibitor0.7526
CYP450 2C9 inhibitorNon-inhibitor0.7658
CYP450 2D6 inhibitorNon-inhibitor0.9304
CYP450 2C19 inhibitorNon-inhibitor0.8352
CYP450 3A4 inhibitorNon-inhibitor0.891
CYP450 inhibitory promiscuityLow CYP Inhibitory Promiscuity0.7268
Ames testNon AMES toxic0.8363
CarcinogenicityCarcinogens 0.6874
BiodegradationNot ready biodegradable0.9612
Rat acute toxicity2.2807 LD50, mol/kg Not applicable
hERG inhibition (predictor I)Weak inhibitor0.933
hERG inhibition (predictor II)Non-inhibitor0.9694
ADMET data is predicted using admetSAR, a free tool for evaluating chemical ADMET properties. (23092397)


Mass Spec (NIST)
Not Available
SpectrumSpectrum TypeSplash Key
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positive (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positive (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positive (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negative (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negative (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negative (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available

Drug created at June 13, 2005 13:24 / Updated at April 03, 2021 09:42