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Altabax ointment

Generic Name: retapamulin (RE-te-PAM-ue-lin)
Brand Name: Altabax

Altabax ointment is used for:

Treating a certain skin infection (impetigo).

Altabax ointment is an antibacterial. It works by killing certain bacteria that cause impetigo.

Do NOT use Altabax ointment if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Altabax ointment

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using Altabax ointment:

Some medical conditions may interact with Altabax ointment. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Altabax ointment. Because little, if any, of Altabax ointment is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.

Ask your health care provider if Altabax ointment may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Altabax ointment:

Use Altabax ointment as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Apply a thin layer of medicine to the affected area as instructed by your doctor.
  • You may cover the affected area with a sterile bandage or gauze dressing. This may be useful for children and infants to protect the treated area and help prevent them from getting the medicine on other areas (eg, eyes, nose, mouth).
  • Wash your hands immediately after using Altabax ointment unless they are part of the treated area.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use Altabax ointment for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you miss a dose of Altabax ointment, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Altabax ointment.

Important safety information:

  • Altabax ointment is for external use only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum. If you get it in any of these areas, rinse at once with cool water.
  • Altabax ointment only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections.
  • Be sure to use Altabax ointment for the full course of treatment. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
  • Long-term or repeated use of Altabax ointment may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use any other medicines or cleansers on your skin.
  • If your symptoms do not get better within 3 to 4 days or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor right away if the treated area becomes irritated, red, or itchy, or if it burns, swells, blisters, or oozes.
  • Altabax ointment should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 9 months old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Altabax ointment while you are pregnant. It is not known if Altabax ointment is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Altabax ointment, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Altabax ointment:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Mild redness or irritation at the application site.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blistering, burning, itching, oozing, swelling, or severe irritation or redness at the application site.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Altabax ointment:

Store Altabax ointment at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Altabax ointment out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Altabax ointment, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Altabax ointment is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Altabax ointment or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Altabax ointment. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Altabax ointment. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Altabax ointment.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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