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Sulfathiazole tautomerism.svg
Imino (top) and amino (bottom) tautomers
Clinical data
AHFS/Drugs.comInternational Drug Names
ATC code
CAS Number
PubChem CID
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
ECHA InfoCard100.000.701 Edit this at Wikidata
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass255.319 g/mol g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
Melting point202 to 202.5 °C (395.6 to 396.5 °F)

Sulfathiazole is an organosulfur compound used as a short-acting sulfa drug.[1] Formerly, it was a common oral and topical antimicrobial, until less toxic alternatives were discovered.[2]

Sulfathiazole exists in various forms (polymorphs). The imine tautomer is dominant, at least in the solid state. In this tautomer, the proton resides on the ring nitrogen.[3]

Cultural references[edit]

Sulfathiazole is mentioned in chapter 104 of Kurt Vonnegut's novel Cat's Cradle and New Dictionary, and several of his short stories. Thomas Heggen's 1946 novel Mister Roberts mentions the use of sulfathiazole to treat gonorrhea. Also the 1988 movie Dead Heat mentions the chemical as a drug used with reanimation of dead bodies. In Otto Preminger's 1960 movie Exodus, American nurse Kitty Fremont tells Dr. Odenheimer that sulfathiazole is the treatment for impetigo. Dr. Odenheimer tells her that sulfathiazole is not available on the ship; soaking of the lesions and exposure to sunlight "is also a cure."

Sulfathiazole is mentioned in John Irving's novel The World According To Garp in chapter 1 where Garp's mother witnesses it being dispensed to World War II soldiers.

F.Spencer Chapman D.S.O. in his account of WW2, The Jungle is Neutral, refers on p.108 to his personal use of sulphathiazole (M.&B.) in the jungles of Malaya during May 1942. He credits the use of the drug with preventing fever and pneumonia becoming fatal in the arduous conditions during the guerilla actions undertaken by the Malayan Communist Party against the Japanese occupying forces. At this period there was no support or communication from Allied forces.[4]


  1. ^ Bernd Mertschenk, Ferdinand Beck, Wolfgang Bauer (2002). "Thiourea and Thiourea Derivatives". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a26_803.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Rouf, Abdul; Tanyeli, Cihangir (2015). "Bioactive thiazole and benzothiazole derivatives". European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 97: 911–927. doi:10.1016/j.ejmech.2014.10.058.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ G. J. Kruger and G. Gafner "The crystal structure of sulphathiazole II" Acta Crystallogr. (1971). B27, 326-333.doi:10.1107/S0567740871002176
  4. ^ F. Spencer Chapman D.S.O. book The Jungle is Neutral.