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Neomycin, Polymyxin, and Bacitracin Topical

pronounced as(nee oh mye' sin) (pol i mix' in) (bass i tray' sin)

Why is this medication prescribed?

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. Follow the directions on the package or those given to you by your doctor carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor or written on the package.

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. A different treatment may be needed. You should also stop using this medication and call your doctor if you use this medication to treat a minor skin injury and your symptoms do not go away within 1 week.

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:

  1. Wash your hands well with soap and water. Wash the injured area with soap and water and pat dry thoroughly with a clean towel.

  2. 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.

  3. Replace and tighten the cap right away.

  4. You may cover the affected area with a sterile bandage.

  5. Wash your hands again.

Other uses for this medicine

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This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

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Before using neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to neomycin (Myciguent, others); polymyxin; bacitracin (Baciguent, others); aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), kanamycin (Kantrex), paromomycin (Humatin), and tobramycin (Nebcin, Tobi); zinc; or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), kanamycin (Kantrex), paromomycin (Humatin), and tobramycin (Nebcin, Tobi). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had hearing problems or kidney disease.
  • 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 special dietary instructions should I follow?

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Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

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Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

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Neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination may cause side effects. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • skin pain, irritation, burning, swelling, or redness

  • itching

  • rash

  • hives

  • red, scaly patches on skin

  • difficulty breathing or swallowing

  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

  • hoarseness

  • chest tightness

  • faintness

  • dizziness

Neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

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Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

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You should not swallow neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin ointment. If someone does swallow this medication, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

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If your doctor has told you to use this medication, keep all appointments with your doctor. Call your doctor if you still have symptoms of infection after you finish using this medication as directed.

Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about neomycin, polymyxin, and bacitracin combination.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names of combination products

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  • Mycitracin® Triple Antibiotic (containing Bacitracin, Neomycin, Polymyxin B)
  • Neosporin® (containing Bacitracin, Neomycin, Polymyxin B)
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment (containing Bacitracin, Neomycin, Polymyxin B)

Last Reviewed - 08/01/2010

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AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.