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Bactroban Side Effects

Generic Name: mupirocin topical

Note: This document contains side effect information about mupirocin topical. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Bactroban.

For the Consumer

Applies to mupirocin topical: topical cream, topical ointment

Other dosage forms:

Along with its needed effects, mupirocin topical (the active ingredient contained in Bactroban) 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 while taking mupirocin topical:

Less common
  • Burning, stinging, or pain on the application site
  • Blistering, crusting, irritation, itching, or reddening of the skin
  • canker sores
  • cracked, dry, scaly skin
  • pain, swelling, tenderness, warmth on the skin
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or tongue or inside the mouth
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach tenderness
  • cough
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • hives or welts, itching, or skin rash
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • redness of the skin
  • severe abdominal or stomach cramps and pain
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • watery and severe diarrhea, which may also be bloody

Some side effects of mupirocin topical may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common
  • Headache
  • nausea

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to mupirocin topical: compounding powder, nasal ointment, topical cream, topical kit, topical ointment


Nasal Ointment: Cutaneous hypersensitivity reactions have been reported very rarely during postmarketing experience.

Topical Ointment: Cutaneous sensitization reactions to the active component or ointment base have been reported.[Ref]

Nasal Ointment:
-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pruritus/itching
-Frequency not reported: Rash
-Postmarketing reports: Cutaneous hypersensitivity reactions

Topical Cream:
-Common (1% to 10%): Rash, pruritus, cutaneous hypersensitivity reactions
-Frequency not reported: Dry skin, erythema, cellulitis, dermatitis, hives

Topical Ointment:
-Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus/itching, erythema, dry skin/dryness
-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Contact dermatitis, furunculosis, exfoliative dermatitis, rash, cutaneous sensitization reactions[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea

Nasal Ointment:
-Frequency not reported: Diarrhea, dry mouth, nausea

Topical Cream:
-Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea, nausea
-Frequency not reported: Abdominal pain, ulcerative stomatitis

Topical Ointment:
-Frequency not reported: Nausea[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Systemic allergic reactions (e.g., anaphylaxis, generalized rash, urticaria, angioedema)[Ref]

Systemic allergic reactions have been reported during postmarketing experience very rarely.[Ref]


Nasal Ointment:
-Common (1% to 10%): Burning, irritation, tingling, itching, stinging, soreness, facial pain over maxillae

Topical Cream:
-Common (1% to 10%): Application site reactions, application site burning, application site hypersensitivity reactions (including urticaria, pruritus, erythema, burning sensation, contact dermatitis, rash)

Topical Ointment:
-Common (1% to 10%): Burning, stinging, pain/swelling at application site, dryness, itching, erythema
-Frequency not reported: Increased exudate, application site reactions[Ref]

Nervous system

Nasal Ointment:
-Common (1% to 10%): Taste perversion, headache

Topical Cream:
-Common (1% to 10%): Headache
-Frequency not reported: Dizziness[Ref]


Nasal Ointment:
-Common (1% to 10%): Conjunctivitis
-Frequency not reported: Blepharitis, burning, tearing[Ref]


Nasal Ointment:
-Common (1% to 10%): Burning/stinging
-Frequency not reported: Ear pain

Topical Cream:
-Frequency not reported: Bleeding or pain secondary to eczema, secondary wound infection

Topical Ointment:
-Common (1% to 10%): Burning/stinging/pain
-Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Systemic reactions (not otherwise specified)
-Frequency not reported: Tenderness, swelling, increased exudate[Ref]


Nasal Ointment:
-Common (1% to 10%): Postnasal drip, sinusitis, rhinitis, respiratory disorder (including upper respiratory tract congestion), pharyngitis, cough
-Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nasal mucosa reactions
-Frequency not reported: Epistaxis[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Bactroban (mupirocin)." SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

4. "Product Information. Bactroban Nasal (mupirocin topical)." SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA.

5. "Product Information. Bactroban (mupirocin)." SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA.

Some side effects of Bactroban may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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.