SOA advisory for neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination
Neomycin, Polymyxin, and Bacitracin Topical
What is it?
Neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination is used to prevent minor skin injuries such as cuts, scrapes, and burns from becoming infected. Neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin are in a class of medications called antibiotics. Neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
How should this medicine be used?
Neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination comes as an ointment to apply to the skin. It is usually used one to three times a day. Neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin ointment is available without a prescription. However, your doctor may give you special directions on the proper use of this medication for your medical problem.
This medication is for use only on the skin. Do not let neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination get into your eyes, nose, or mouth and do not swallow it.
You may use neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination to treat minor skin injuries. However, you should not use this medication to treat deep cuts, puncture wounds, animal bites, serious burns, or any injuries that affect large areas of your body. You should call your doctor or get emergency medical help if you have these types of injuries.
Do not apply this medication to a child's diaper area, especially if the skin surface is broken or raw, unless told to do so by a doctor. If you are told to apply it to a child's diaper area, do not use tightly fitting diapers or plastic pants.
To use the ointment, follow these steps:
Wash your hands well with soap and water. Wash the injured area with soap and water and pat dry thoroughly with a clean towel.
Apply a small amount of the ointment (an amount equal to the size of your finger tip) to the injured skin. A thin layer is all that is needed.
Do not touch the tip of the tube to your skin, hands, or anything else. Replace and tighten the cap right away.
You may cover the affected area with a sterile bandage.
Wash your hands again.
What special precautions should I follow?
DO NOT USE IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO NEOMYCIN, BACITRACIN, POLYMYXIN, AMIKACIN, GENTAMICIN, KANAMYCIN, OR TOBRAMYCIN.
Before using neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination, call your doctor.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Up to 20% of people become allergic to at least one ingredient in neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination. Allergy to it causes similar symptoms to poison ivy. It does not cause problems breathing or respiratory problems. These are signs of allergy. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- skin pain, irritation, burning, swelling, or redness
- red, scaly patches on skin
Brand names of combination products
- Neosporin® (containing Bacitracin, Neomycin, Polymyxin B)
- Triple Antibiotic Ointment (containing Bacitracin, Neomycin, Polymyxin B)
Source: Modified from U.S. National Library of Medicine