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Coly-Mycin S (otic)

Generic name: colistin, hydrocortisone, neomycin, and thonzonium (otic) [ koe-LIS-tin, HYE-droe-KOR-ti-sone, NEE-oh-MYE-sin, thon-ZOE-nee-um ]
Brand names: Cortisporin-TC, Coly-Mycin S otic
Drug class: Otic steroids with anti-infectives

Medically reviewed by on Aug 11, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Coly-Mycin S?

Colistin and neomycin are antibiotics that fight bacteria.

Hydrocortisone is a steroid. It reduces the actions of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.

Thonzonium is a wetting agent.

Coly-Mycin S (for the ears) is a combination medicine used to treat outer ear infections caused by bacteria.

Coly-Mycin S will not treat a viral infection such as herpes or shingles.

Coly-Mycin S may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

This medicine may cause serious side effects. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

Common side effects of Coly-Mycin S 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.


You should not use Coly-Mycin S if you have a hole in your ear drum (ruptured ear drum).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to colistin, hydrocortisone, neomycin, or thonzonium, or if you have a hole in your ear drum (ruptured ear drum).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Coly-Mycin S will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

Colistin, hydrocortisone, neomycin, and thonzonium otic can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

This medicine should not be used on a child younger than 1 year old.

How should I use Coly-Mycin S?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Before using the medicine, clean and dry your ear canal with sterile cotton.

Shake the ear drops well just before each use.

To use the ear drops:

As an alternative to dropping the medicine into your ear, you may insert a small piece of cotton into the ear canal and then drop the medicine directly onto the cotton to soak it. Leave the cotton in your ear for at least 24 hours, and keep it moist by adding a few drops of the medicine to the cotton every 4 hours. Replace the cotton at least every 24 hours. Follow your doctor's instructions about the use of cotton with this medication.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using Coly-Mycin S otic.

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.

Do not use Coly-Mycin S for longer than 10 days in a row unless your doctor tells you to. Long-term use of neomycin may cause damage to your hearing.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of Coly-Mycin S 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 this medicine?

This medicine is for use only in the ears. Avoid getting the medicine in your eyes, mouth, and nose, or on your skin. Rinse with water if this medicine gets in or on these areas.

What other drugs will affect Coly-Mycin S?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on Coly-Mycin S otic used in the ears. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

More about Coly-Mycin S (colistin sulfate / hydrocortisone / neomycin / thonzonium bromide otic)

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Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.