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Bacitracin, Neomycin, and Polymyxin B (Ophthalmic)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 27, 2020.


(bas i TRAY sin, nee oh MYE sin, & pol i MIKS in bee)

Index Terms

  • Neomycin, Bacitracin, and Polymyxin B
  • Polymyxin B, Bacitracin, and Neomycin

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Ointment, Ophthalmic:

Neo-Polycin: Bacitracin 400 units, neomycin 3.5 mg, and polymyxin B 10,000 units per g (3.5 g)

Generic: Bacitracin 400 units, neomycin 3.5 mg, and polymyxin B 10,000 units per g (3.5 g)

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Neo-Polycin

Pharmacologic Category

  • Antibiotic, Ophthalmic


Bacitracin: Inhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis by preventing transfer of mucopeptides into the growing cell wall.

Neomycin: Interferes with bacterial protein synthesis by binding to 30S ribosomal subunits.

Polymyxin B: Binds to phospholipids, alters permeability, and damages the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane permitting leakage of intracellular constituents.

Use: Labeled Indications

Ocular infections: Treatment of superficial external ocular infections (eg, conjunctivitis, keratitis, keratoconjunctivitis, blepharitis, blepharoconjunctivitis) caused by susceptible organisms.


Hypersensitivity to neomycin, polymyxin B, bacitracin, or any component of the formulation

Dosing: Adult

Ocular infections: Ophthalmic: Apply every 3 to 4 hours for 7 to 10 days.

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Pediatric

Conjunctivitis: Limited data available: Children and Adolescents: Ophthalmic: Apply 0.5 inch ribbon every 3 to 4 hours for acute infections, or 2 to 3 times per day for mild to moderate infections, for 7 to 10 days (Pichichero 2011)


For ophthalmic use only; not for injection into the eye. Avoid contamination of the tip of the ointment tube.


Store at room temperature.

Drug Interactions

There are no known significant interactions.

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse drug reactions and incidences are derived from product labeling unless otherwise specified. Frequency not defined.

Dermatologic: Reddening, allergic contact dermatitis

Local: Itching, failure to heal, swelling, irritation

Ophthalmic: Conjunctival edema

Miscellaneous: Anaphylaxis


Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Neomycin sensitization: Neomycin may cause cutaneous sensitization. Symptoms of neomycin sensitization include itching, reddening, edema, and failure to heal. Discontinuation of product and avoidance of similar products should be considered.

• Ocular effects: May retard corneal wound healing.

• Superinfection: Prolonged use may lead to overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms, including fungi. If superinfection is suspected, institute appropriate alternative therapy.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Appropriate use: For topical ophthalmic use only. Do not introduce directly into anterior chamber of the eye. Inadvertent contamination of multiple-dose ophthalmic tube tip has caused bacterial keratitis.

Pregnancy Risk Factor C Pregnancy Considerations

Refer to individual monographs.

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to treat eye infections.

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

• Vision changes

• Eye pain

• Severe eye irritation

• Eye discharge

• Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine’s uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

Frequently asked questions

Further information

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