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Altabax Side Effects

Generic Name: retapamulin topical

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of retapamulin topical. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Altabax.

For the Consumer

Applies to retapamulin topical: topical application ointment

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by retapamulin topical (the active ingredient contained in Altabax). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking retapamulin topical:

Less common:
  • Burning, itching, redness, skin rash, swelling, or soreness at site
  • skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing
  • Blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, flaking of skin
  • flushing, redness of skin
  • itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, swelling of skin
  • pain at site of application
  • unusually warm skin

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with retapamulin topical may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

Less common:
  • Diarrhea
  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • nausea
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to retapamulin topical: topical ointment


Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus, eczema
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Erythema, contact dermatitis, impetigo, excoriation[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Application site irritation, application site pruritus, application site pain
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Application site erythema
Postmarketing reports: Application site burning sensation[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Hypersensitivity events including angioedema[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pyrexia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased creatinine phosphokinase[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea, nausea
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abdominal discomfort[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nasopharyngitis[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Altabax (retapamulin topical)." GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Not all side effects for Altabax may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.