Fusidic acid belongs to a class of medications known as antibiotics. It is used to treat various skin infections caused by certain kinds of bacteria. Such infections may include impetigo and secondary infections (infections that develop after the skin has been injured) to burns or broken skin.
What is Fucidin used for?
Fucidin cream and ointment are used to treat skin infections caused by bacteria, in particular staphylococcal bacteria. These may include the following:
- Infected hair follicles (folliculitis).
- Skin infection around the nails (paronychia).
- Infected eczema.
- Infected wounds.
Fucidin cream and ointment can be used in adults and children.
How does Fucidin work?
- Fucidin cream contains the active ingredient fusidic acid. Fucidin ointment contains sodium fusidate, which is the sodium salt of fusidic acid. Fusidic acid is a type of medicine called an antibiotic.
- Fusidic acid works by preventing bacteria from producing proteins that are essential to them. Without these proteins the bacteria cannot grow, replicate and increase in numbers. Fusidic acid doesn't directly kill the bacteria, but leaves them unable to increase in numbers. The remaining bacteria eventually die or are destroyed by the immune system. This clears up the infection.
How do I use Fucidin cream and ointment?
- Wash your hands before applying the medicine.
- The cream or ointment should be applied gently to the infected area of skin three or four times a day, as directed by your doctor.
- If your doctor has told you to cover the area with a dressing, you may not need to apply the cream or ointment as frequently. Again, follow your doctor's instructions.
- Wash your hands after applying the cream or ointment, unless you're treating the hands.
- Take care to avoid getting the cream or ointment in the eyes, particularly if you're treating an infection on the face. If you accidentally get the cream or ointment in the eyes, rinse them thoroughly with plenty of water.
- Apply Fucidin cream or ointment every day for as long as your doctor has prescribed it. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, it's important that you finish the prescribed course, even if it seems the infection has cleared up. Stopping the course early makes it more likely that the infection will come back and increases the risk of the bacteria growing resistant to the antibiotic.
What should I know before using Fucidin cream or ointment?
- If your infection doesn't seem to be getting better, or is getting worse despite treatment, you should consult your doctor. You should also see your doctor if the infection comes back after you've stopped using Fucidin.
- It's important that you don't use Fucidin for longer than prescribed, or save it for treating future infections, unless instructed to by your doctor. This is because prolonged or repeated use of antibacterial medicines can cause skin reactions and may also result in the bacteria becoming resistant to the medicine.
Who shouldn't use Fucidin cream or ointment?
- People who are allergic to fusidic acid, sodium fusidate or any of the other ingredients. If you know you have specific allergies, always check the ingredients of the medicine before using it.
- If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using Fucidin and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Can I use Fucidin while pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Fucidin cream and ointment can be safely used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, because fusidic acid is not absorbed through the skin in significant amounts. Ask your doctor for further advice.
- If you're breastfeeding you should avoid applying Fucidin on or near your breasts. If you need to apply Fucidin to your breasts you should wash it off thoroughly before giving a feed. Ask your doctor for further advice.
What are the possible side effects of Fucidin cream and ointment?
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 Fucidin cream and ointment. 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.
Uncommon (affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1000 people)
- Pain, stinging, burning sensation or redness of skin on application.
- Skin rashes.
- Contact dermatitis.
- Skin itching or redness.
Rare (affect between 1 in 1000 and 1 in 10,000 people)
- Skin blistering.
- Allergic reactions, for example swelling of the skin, face, throat or tongue or difficulty breathing.
Read the leaflet provided with the medicine or talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you want any more information about the possible side effects of Fucidin cream and ointment.
Can I use Fucidin cream and ointment with other medicines?
- Fusidic acid is not absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream in significant amounts and so is not expected to affect other medicines.
- However, if you are using any other creams, ointments or lotions (including moisturisers or cosmetics) on the same area of skin, avoid applying these at the same time as Fucidin, because they could dilute the antibiotic 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.