Polyfax ointment contains two active ingredients, polymyxin B and bacitracin. These are both medicines called antibiotics. Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria.
What is it used for?
- Bacterial skin infections, such as impetigo, or infected wounds, burns, skin grafts, ulcers or eczema.
- Treating areas of skin affected by scabies, athlete's foot or head lice, when the skin has become secondarily infected with bacteria (usually as a result of scratching).
How does it work?
- Polyfax ointment contains two active ingredients, polymyxin B and bacitracin. These are both medicines called antibiotics. Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria.
- Polymyxin B and bacitracin work by killing the bacteria that are causing the infection. They attack the bacteria in different ways.
- Polymyxin B binds to the cell membranes of the bacteria, while bacitracin interferes with the formation of their cell walls. Both these structures are vital for the survival of the bacteria.
How do I use it?
- Polyfax ointment should usually be applied to the affected area(s) of skin twice a day. However, follow the instructions given by your doctor, as some more severe infections may need more frequent application.
- Wash your hands after applying the ointment, unless your hands are the area being treated.
- Don't cover the treated area with a dressing unless you have been directed to by your doctor or nurse.
- Avoid applying other creams, ointments or lotions to the treated area of skin for at least 30 minutes, as other products (particularly moisturisers) could dilute the antibiotic.
- Complete the course of treatment that your doctor has prescribed.
Use with caution in
- Large areas of skin. There may be an increased chance of the medicine being absorbed into the bloodstream if the ointment is used on large areas of skin, particularly in children, elderly people and people with kidney problems.
Not to be used in
- People who are allergic to any ingredient.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to 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.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
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. If it is used on large areas of skin it is more likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream in significant amounts and is not recommended in pregnant women if this is the case. It should only be used during pregnancy if considered essential by your doctor. If your doctor prescribes you this medicine you should let them know if you are or think you could be pregnant.
- It is not known if the antibiotics in this medicine could pass into breast milk. It should only be used by women who are breastfeeding if considered essential by your doctor. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
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.
- Skin irritation at site of application in people who are hypersensitive to any of the ingredients.
- If a large amount of the ointment is absorbed into the body it could cause nerve or kidney problems.
- The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
- This medicine is unlikely to affect other medicines. However, if you are using it on large areas of skin or for a long time it may be absorbed into the bloodstream and could then potentially affect other medicines. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information if this applies to you.
- Avoid applying other creams, ointments or lotions to the treated area of skin for at least 30 minutes, as other products could dilute the antibiotic.