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Bactroban (Mupirocin) is used for the treatment of impetigo, infected eczema, or folliculitis (infection of the hair follicles).

Drug Name

Bactroban (Mupirocin)

Drug Uses

Bactroban is used for the treatment of impetigo due to Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes, for the treatment of infected eczema, or folliculitis (infection of the hair follicles). Bactroban is not recommended for use on the skin in serious burns, because more of the vehicle (the inactive ingredient) used for the ointment, polyethylene glycol, may be absorbed and can cause kidney damage. A nasal ointment of bactroban also is used for the elimination of nasal Staphylococcus aureus that have become resistant to other antibiotics.

How Taken

For the treatment of impetigo, a small amount of the ointment is applied to the affected area, usually three times daily. The area may be covered with a sterile gauze dressing. If there is no improvement in 3-5 days, the physician should be contacted. A specialized use of bactroban is the intranasal application for patients who harbor intranasal Staphylococcus aureus that are resistant to many other antibiotics. Treatment requires the application of about half of the ointment from a single-use tube of nasal ointment into one nostril and the other half into the other nostril. This treatment is repeated twice daily for 5 days. Children may need less ointment.

Drug Class and Mechanism

Bactroban is an antibiotic that is used topically (superficially) in the treatment of impetigo, a bacterial disease of the skin caused by Staphylococcus aureus and beta-hemolytic streptococci. Unlike most other antibiotics which act on either bacterial DNA or the cellular walls of bacteria, bactroban blocks the activity of an enzyme called isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase within the bacteria. This enzyme is necessary in order for the bacteria to make proteins. Without the ability to make proteins, the bacteria die. Because of its unique mechanism of action there is little chance that bacteria will have become resistant to bactroban because they have been exposed to other antibiotics.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.


Bactroban should be kept at room temperature, 15-30C (59-86F)