Generic name: neomycin (nee-oh-MYE-sin)
Drug class: Topical antibiotics
Chemical Class: Aminoglycoside
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jun 18, 2021.
Uses for neomycin
Neomycin belongs to the family of medicines called antibiotics. Neomycin topical preparations are used to help prevent infections of the skin. Neomycin may be used for other problems as determined by your doctor.
Neomycin topical preparations are available without a prescription.
Before using neomycin
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 neomycin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to neomycin 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.
Studies on neomycin have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of topical neomycin in children with use in other age groups.
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 topical neomycin 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. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
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 neomycin
If you are using neomycin without a prescription, do not use it to treat deep wounds, puncture wounds, serious burns, or raw areas without first checking with your health care professional.
Do not use neomycin in the eyes.
Before applying neomycin, wash the affected area with soap and water, and dry thoroughly.
For patients using the cream form of neomycin:
- Apply a generous amount of cream to the affected area, and rub in gently until the cream disappears.
For patients using the ointment form of neomycin:
- Apply a generous amount of ointment to the affected area, and rub in gently.
After neomycin is applied, the treated area may be covered with a gauze dressing if desired.
To help clear up your infection completely, keep using neomycin for the full time of treatment, even if your symptoms have disappeared. Do not miss any doses.
The dose of neomycin 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 neomycin. 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 forms (cream or ointment):
- For minor bacterial skin infections:
- Adults and children—Apply to the affected area(s) of the skin one to three times a day.
- For minor bacterial skin infections:
If you miss a dose of neomycin, 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 neomycin
If your skin problem does not improve within 1 week, or if it becomes worse, check with your health care professional.
Neomycin 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, rash, redness, swelling, or other sign of skin irritation not present before use of neomycin
- Any 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 topical
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Drug class: topical antibiotics
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.