Mupirocin Cream or Ointment

Mupirocin ointment is a medication that treats bacterial skin infections. It prevents bacteria growth and kills existing bacteria on your skin. You can rub this medication on your affected skin. Make sure you wash your hands before and after using the ointment. The brand names of this medication are Bactroban® and Centany®.

What is this medication?

MUPIROCIN (myoo PEER oh sin) treats skin infections caused by bacteria. It works by killing or preventing the growth of bacteria on the skin.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Bactroban, Centany, Centany AT

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Kidney disease
  • Large areas of burned or damaged skin
  • Stomach or intestine problems such as colitis
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to mupirocin, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is for external use only. Do not take by mouth. Wash your hands before and after use. If you are treating a hand infection, only wash your hands before use. Do not get it in your eyes. If you do, rinse your eyes with plenty of cool tap water. Use it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Do not use it more often than directed. Use the medication for the full course as directed by your care team, even if you think you are better. Do not stop using it unless your care team tells you to stop it early.

Apply a thin film of the medication to the affected area. You can cover the area with a sterile gauze dressing (bandage). Do not use an airtight bandage (such as a plastic-covered bandage).

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other skin products on the affected area without telling your care team.

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.

Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your care team if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Burning, itching, crusting, or peeling of treated skin
  • Severe diarrhea, fever

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Mild skin irritation, redness, or dryness

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Do not freeze. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2024 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of use.

Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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