Generic name: bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic [ BAS-i-TRAY-sin-and-POL-ee-MIX-in-B-off-THAL-mik ]
Brand names: AK-Poly-Bac, Polycin
What is Polycin?
Bacitracin and polymyxin B are antibiotics that kill bacteria.
Polycin (for the eyes) is a combination medicine used to treat bacterial infections of the eyes or eyelids.
Polycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use Polycin if you have a viral or fungal infection in your eye. Polycin treats only infections that are caused by bacteria.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to bacitracin or polymyxin B.
Do not use Polycin if you have a viral or fungal infection in your eye. This medicine treats only infections that are caused by bacteria.
You should not use Polycin to treat any eye infection that has not been checked by your doctor.
To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions or allergies.
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 bacitracin and polymyxin B passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
Polycin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I use Polycin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use Polycin in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Wash your hands before using eye medication.
To apply the ointment:
Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the ointment tube with the tip pointing toward this pocket. Look up and away from the tip.
Squeeze out a ribbon of ointment into the lower eyelid pocket without touching the tip of the tube to your eye. Blink your eye gently and then keep it closed for 1 or 2 minutes.
Use a tissue to wipe excess ointment from your eyelashes.
After opening your eyes, you may have blurred vision for a short time. Avoid driving or doing anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.
Do not touch the tip of the ointment tube or place it directly on your eye. A contaminated tube tip can infect your eye, which could lead to serious vision problems.
This medicine is usually applied every 3 or 4 hours for up to 10 days. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
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.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Keep the 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 scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of Polycin 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 bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic?
Polycin may cause blurred vision. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.
Do not use other eye medications unless your doctor tells you to.
Polycin side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have 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:
severe itching, redness, or swelling of your eyelids;
eye pain, redness, or watering;
vision changes, increased sensitivity to light;
white patches on your eyes;
crusting or drainage from your eyes; or
any new signs of infection.
Common side effects of Polycin may include:
mild eye redness or itching; or
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 Polycin?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on bacitracin and polymyxin B used in the eyes. 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.
Frequently asked questions
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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.
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