Antibiotic Cream (Topical)
Generic name: neomycin and polymyxin b (topical route) [ nee-oh-MYE-sin-SUL-fate, pol-ee-MIX-in-B-SUL-fate ]
Drug class: Topical antibiotics
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 18, 2022.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Antibiotic Cream
Chemical Class: Neomycin
Uses for Antibiotic Cream
Neomycin and polymyxin B combination is used to prevent bacterial infections. It works by killing bacteria.
Neomycin and polymyxin B cream is applied to the skin to prevent minor bacterial skin infections. It may also be used for other problems as determined by your doctor.
This medicine is available without a prescription.
Before using Antibiotic Cream
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Although there is no specific information comparing use of neomycin and polymyxin B combination in children with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of neomycin and polymyxin B combination in the elderly with use in other age groups.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Colistimethate Sodium
- Ethacrynic Acid
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Proper use of Antibiotic Cream
If you are using this medicine without a prescription, do not use it to treat deep wounds, puncture wounds, animal bites, serious burns, or raw areas without first checking with your health care professional.
Do not use this medicine in the eyes.
- Before applying this medicine, wash the affected area(s) with soap and water, and dry thoroughly.
- Apply a small amount of this medicine to the affected area(s) and rub in gently.
- After applying this medicine, the treated area(s) may be covered with a gauze dressing if desired.
Do not use this medicine for longer than 1 week or on large areas of the skin, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
To help clear up your skin infection completely, keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if your symptoms have disappeared. Do not miss any doses.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For topical dosage form (cream):
- For prevention of minor bacterial infections:
- Adults and children 2 years of age and older—Apply to the affected area(s) of the skin one to three times a day.
- Children up to 2 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For prevention of minor bacterial infections:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions while using Antibiotic Cream
If your skin infection does not improve within 1 week, or if it becomes worse, check with your health care professional.
Antibiotic Cream side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Itching, pain, skin rash, swelling, redness, or other sign of skin irritation not present before use of this medicine
- Loss of hearing
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about neomycin / polymyxin b topical
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.