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Drugs reference index «mupirocin Topical»

mupirocin Topical
mupirocin Topical

mupirocin (Topical route)


Commonly used brand name(s):

In the U.S.

  • Bactroban
  • Centany

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Ointment
  • Cream

Therapeutic Class: Antibacterial

Uses For mupirocin

Mupirocin is used to treat bacterial infections. It works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth.

Mupirocin ointment is applied to the skin to treat impetigo. It may also be used for other bacterial skin infections as determined by your doctor.

Mupirocin cream is applied to the skin to treat secondarily infected traumatic skin lesions.

Mupirocin is available in the U.S. 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.


Safety and effectiveness of mupirocin cream have not been established in children up to 3 months of age.

Safety and effectiveness of mupirocin ointment have not been established in children up to 2 months of age.


No overall difference in safety and efficacy were observed in patients over 65 years of age.


Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

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

Do not use mupirocin in the eyes.

To use:

  • Before applying mupirocin, wash the affected area(s) with soap and water, and dry thoroughly. Then apply a small amount to the affected area(s) and rub in gently.
  • After applying mupirocin, the treated area(s) may be covered with a gauze dressing if desired.

To help clear up your skin infection completely, keep using mupirocin for the full time of treatment, even if your symptoms have disappeared. Do not miss any doses.


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 ointment dosage form:
    • Impetigo:
      • Adults and children 2 months of age and older— Apply three times a day.
      • Children under 2 months of age — Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For cream dosage form:
    • Secondarily infected traumatic skin lesions
      • Adults and children 3 months of age and older— Apply three times a day, for 10 days.
      • Children under 3 months of age — Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of mupirocin, apply 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.


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

If your skin infection does not improve within 3 to 5 days, or if it becomes worse, check with your health care professional.

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.

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:

Less common
  • Dry skin
  • skin burning, itching, pain, rash, redness, stinging, or swelling
  • headache
  • nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • dizziness
  • secondary wound infection
  • sores on mouth and on lips

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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  • Bactroban Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • Bactroban Cream MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Bactroban Consumer Overview
  • Centany Prescribing Information (FDA)

See Also...

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