Hesperian Health Guides

Medicines for Burns

First Aid: Medicines

Burns can be very painful. Give strong pain medicines such as codeine OR morphine, especially before cleaning or changing the dressing on a burn.

Burns are very likely to get infected, so give an antibiotic such as dicloxacillin, clindamycin, cephalexin, OR ciprofloxacin if there are any signs of infection.

As the burn heals, give an antihistamine like chlorpheniramine OR diphenhydramine to calm the itching.

Give a tetanus vaccine if the person’s tetanus vaccination is not up-to-date

If the person was in a fire and inhaled a lot of smoke, salbutamol can help them to breathe more easily.

This page was updated:05 Jan 2024