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Drugs reference index «mupirocin Nasal»

mupirocin (Nasal route)


Commonly used brand name(s):

In the U.S.

  • Bactroban

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Ointment

Therapeutic Class: Antibiotic

Uses For mupirocin

Mupirocin is used inside the nose to kill a certain bacteria, known as Staphylococcus aureus (also known as “staph”), that has become resistant to the antibiotic methicillin.

mupirocin is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using mupirocin

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For mupirocin, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to mupirocin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Studies on mupirocin have been done only in adult patients and there is no specific information comparing use of nasal mupirocin in children with use in other age groups. However, a study in newborns and infants found that significant amounts of nasal mupirocin were absorbed into the body.


No information is available comparing use of nasal mupirocin in the elderly with use in other adults. However, it has not been reported to cause different side effects or other problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Proper Use of mupirocin

To use the nasal ointment

  • First, wash your hands.
  • Apply approximately 1/2 of the ointment from the single-use tube directly from the tube into one nostril. Then apply the remainder of the ointment directly into the other nostril.
  • Close your nostrils by pressing the sides of the nose together and then releasing them. Do this over and over again for approximately one minute. You may also press the sides of the nose together and gently massage the nose. These methods will help spread the medicine throughout the inside of the nostrils.
  • Discard the tube after using. The tube only has enough medicine for one dose in each nostril.
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes.
  • Immediately after using the nose ointment, wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.


The dose of mupirocin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of mupirocin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For nasal dosage form (nasal ointment):
    • To kill Staphylococcus aureus (“staph”) bacteria in the nose:
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—Approximately 1/2 of the ointment from a single-use tube squeezed into each nostril two times a day (morning and evening) for five days.
      • Children less than 12 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of mupirocin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using mupirocin

Keep mupirocin away from your eyes. If mupirocin gets in the eyes, it may cause severe burning and tearing that may last days or weeks. If this occurs, contact your doctor.

Do not use any other medicine in your nose without first checking with your doctor.

If severe nasal irritation occurs, discontinue use of mupirocin and contact your doctor.

mupirocin Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine 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 as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common
  • Chest congestion
  • cough
  • Ear pain

Some side effects 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:

More common
  • Headache
Less common
  • Burning or stinging in the nose
  • change in taste
  • itching
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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