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Bactroban Nasal Side Effects

Generic Name: mupirocin topical

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of mupirocin topical. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Bactroban Nasal.

For the Consumer

Applies to mupirocin topical: topical cream, topical ointment

Other dosage forms:

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by mupirocin topical (the active ingredient contained in Bactroban Nasal). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking mupirocin topical:

Less common
  • Burning, stinging, or pain on the application site
  • Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
  • canker sores
  • cracked, dry, scaly skin
  • pain, swelling, tenderness, warmth on the skin
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or tongue or inside the mouth
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach tenderness
  • cough
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • hives or welts, itching, or skin rash
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • redness of the skin
  • severe abdominal or stomach cramps and pain
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • watery and severe diarrhea, which may also be bloody

Some of the side effects that can occur with mupirocin topical may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

Less common
  • Headache
  • nausea

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to mupirocin topical: compounding powder, nasal ointment, topical cream, topical kit, topical ointment


Local adverse effects may be associated with mupirocin application. Mupirocin ointment or cream may commonly cause itching, pain, stinging, and burning. Local effects from the nasal formulation have included epistaxis, rhinitis, taste perversion, pharyngitis, burning, and cough.[Ref]

Mupirocin ointment in a polyethylene glycol base has previously (prior to the release of a nasal formulation) been used intranasally. Common side effects associated with such use, which may be related to the polyethylene glycol, include nasal congestion, dryness, burning or irritation and unpleasant taste.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have included nausea (1.1%), abdominal pain (<1%), and diarrhea (<1%). Dry mouth has been reported with mupirocin nasal (<1%).[Ref]


Hypersensitivity reactions have infrequently included allergic contact dermatitis.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects associated with intranasal mupirocin have included headache (9%). Dizziness has been reported with mupirocin ointment (<1%).[Ref]


Ocular side effects associated with mupirocin nasal ointment have included blepharitis (<1%).[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects associated with mupirocin ointment or cream have included pain and bleeding secondary to eczema, cellulitis, dermatitis, increased exudate, secondary wound infection, hives, and rash.[Ref]


1. Parenti MA, Hatfield SM, Leyden JJ "Mupirocin: a topical antibiotic with a unique structure and mechanism of action." Clin Pharm 6 (1987): 761-70

2. Rice TD, Duggan AK, DeAngelis C "Cost-effectiveness of erythromycin versus mupirocin for the treatment of impetigo in children." Pediatrics 89 (1992): 210-4

3. "Product Information. Bactroban (mupirocin)." SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA.

4. Rumsfield J, West DP, Aronson IK "Topical mupirocin in the treatment of bacterial skin infections." Drug Intell Clin Pharm 20 (1986): 943-8

5. Scully BE, Briones F, Gu JW, Neu HC "Mupirocin treatment of nasal staphylococcal colonization." Arch Intern Med 152 (1992): 353-6

6. Eedy DJ "Mupirocin allergy in the setting of venous ulceration." Contact Dermatitis 32 (1995): 240-1

7. Infectious Diseases and Immunization Committtee, Canadian Paediatric Society "Mupirocin in the treatment of impetigo." Can Med Assoc J 142 (1990): 543-4

8. Ward A, Campoli-Richards DM "Mupirocin. A review of its antibacterial activity, pharmacokinetic properties and therapeutic use." Drugs 32 (1986): 425-44

9. Zappi EG, Brancaccio RR "Allergic contact dermatitis from mupirocin ointment." J Am Acad Dermatol 36 (1997): 266

Not all side effects for Bactroban Nasal may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.