Bactroban is a topical antibacterial agent, active against those organisms responsible for the majority of skin infections, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant strains, other staphylococci, streptococci. It is also active against Gram-negative organisms such as Escherichia coli and Haemophilus influenzae. Bactroban Ointment is used for skin infections, e.g. impetigo, folliculitis, furunculosis.
What are Bactroban used for?
- Bactroban ointment is used to treat bacterial skin infections, such as impetigo, infected hair follicles (folliculitis) and boils (furunculosis), including infections caused by MRSA.
- Bactroban cream is used to treat traumatic lesions such as small lacerations, sutured wounds or abrasions (up to 10cm in length or 100cm2 in area), that have become infected with susceptible strains of Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria.
How do Bactroban work?
- Bactroban contains the active ingredient mupirocin, which is an antibacterial medicine.
Mupirocin works by affecting the bacteria's production of certain proteins that are necessary for their survival. It causes the bacteria to produce abnormal and faulty proteins. This ultimately kills the bacteria and clears up the infection.
How do I use Bactroban?
- A thin layer of cream or ointment should be applied to the affected area of skin three times a day for up to 10 days. A dressing can be applied over the treated area if needed. Follow the instructions given by your doctor.
- Wash your hands after applying the cream or ointment.
- The medicine should not be applied for longer than 10 days to avoid the bacteria developing resistance to the mupirocin. If your infection does not seem to be getting better or appears worse at any time you should let your doctor know.
- Important information about Bactroban cream and ointment
- Bactroban cream and ointment are for external use on the skin only. There is a nasal ointment that is used to eradicate bacteria from inside the nostrils - follow the link at the end of this page for more information about nasal use of mupirocin.
- Avoid getting the cream or ointment in contact with the eyes. If it gets in the eyes they should be thoroughly rinsed with plenty of water.
- Bactroban ointment contains polyethylene glycol. Polyethylene glycol can be absorbed from open wounds and damaged skin and is excreted by the kidneys. For this reason, the ointment should be used with caution in people with kidney problems.
Who should not use Bactroban?
- This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Can I use Bactroban while?
- Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- The safety of this medicine for use during pregnancy has not been established. The manufacturer advises that it should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefits outweigh any risks to the developing baby. Seek medical advice from your doctor.
- It is not known if mupirocin passes into breast milk. If Bactroban is prescribed to treat an infection in a cracked nipple, the cream or ointment should be thoroughly washed off the nipple before giving a feed. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
What are the possible side effects of Bactroban?
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Itching, redness, burning, tingling or stinging sensation at the site of application.
- Contact dermatitis.
- Dry skin.
Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you want any more information about the possible side effects of this medicine. If you think you have experienced a side effect, did you know you can report this using the yellow card website?
Can I use Bactroban with other medicines?
- This medicine is not known to affect other medicines. However, if you are using any other creams, ointments or lotions on the same area of skin you should not apply them at the same time as Bactroban, because they could dilute the Bactroban and make it less effective at treating the infection. Always leave about 30 minutes between applying different products to the same area of skin to give them time to be absorbed.