Generic Name: mupirocin topical (myoo PEER oh sin)
Brand Names: Bactroban, Centany, Centany AT Kit
Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD. Last updated on Feb 7, 2019.
What is Bactroban?
Bactroban (mupirocin) is an antibiotic that prevents bacteria from growing on your skin.
Bactroban topical (for use on the skin) is used to treat skin infections such as impetigo or a "Staph" infection of the skin.
Bactroban may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Use Bactroban cream or ointment for the full amount of time prescribed by your doctor or as recommended in the package even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely healed. Avoid your eyes, nose, mouth, and lips when applying Bactroban. If medication gets in any of these areas, wash with water.
Watch for signs of improvement in 3 to 5 days. If your condition gets worse or does not improve, see your doctor.
A separate formulation, Bactroban nasal ointment, is available for nasal use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Bactroban cream or ointment if you are allergic to mupirocin.
To make sure Bactroban is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
Do not use Bactroban on a child without medical advice. The cream should not be used on a child younger than 3 months old. The ointment may be used on a child as young as 2 months old.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether mupirocin topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you apply this medicine to your breast or nipple, wash the areas thoroughly before nursing your baby.
How should I use Bactroban?
Use Bactroban cream or ointment exactly as directed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Do not take by mouth. Bactroban is for use only on the skin. If this medicine gets in your eyes, nose, or mouth, rinse with water.
Wash your hands before and after applying Bactroban.
Clean and dry the affected skin area. Use a cotton swab or gauze pad to apply a small amount of Bactroban cream or ointment as directed.
Do not spread Bactroban over large areas of skin.
Bactroban is usually applied 3 times per day for 10 days. Use only a small amount of the cream or ointment.
Use only a sterile gauze pad to cover the treated skin. Do not cover treated areas with a bandage, plastic wrap, or other covering that does not allow air to circulate.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve within 3 to 5 days, or if your skin condition gets worse.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Keep the medicine tube tightly closed when not in use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of Bactroban cream or ointment is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
What should I avoid while using Bactroban?
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Avoid getting this medicine in your eyes, mouth, or nose. A separate product called Bactroban nasal is made for use in the nose. Bactroban topical is for use only on the skin.
Avoid using other medications on the areas you treat with Bactroban unless your doctor tells you to.
Bactroban side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Bactroban: hives; dizziness, fast or pounding heartbeats; wheezing, difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
severe itching, rash, or other irritation of treated skin;
unusual skin blistering or peeling; or
any signs of a new skin infection.
Common Bactroban side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Bactroban?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied mupirocin. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Bactroban only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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- Drug class: topical antibiotics