Bactroban is an antibiotic and treats skin infections. Do not apply dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the area being treated unless your doctor tells you to.

Bactroban Overview


Bactroban is a prescription medication used to treat impetigo and other simple skin infections caused by certain types of bacteria. Bactroban belongs to a group of drugs called topical antibiotics, which are used directly on the skin to kill bacteria. 

This medication comes in a skin ointment and skin cream and is usually used 3 times a day. It also comes in a nasal ointment that is applied into the nostrils and is usually used 2 times a day.

Common side effects of Bactroban include itching, burning, and redness in the area where Bactroban is applied.

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  • Other
  • Bacterial Infections
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Bactroban Cautionary Labels


Uses of Bactroban

Bactroban is a prescription medication used to treat impetigo (a type of skin infection) and other small skin infections caused by certain types of bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria.

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


Bactroban Drug Class

Bactroban is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Bactroban

Serious side effects have been reported with Bactroban. See the “Drug Precautions” section.

Common side effects of Bactroban include the following:

  • itching
  • burning
  • redness
  • stinging
  • dryness

This is not a complete list of Bactroban side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

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

Bactroban Interactions

No drug interactions have been identified. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Bactroban Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Bactroban including the following:

  • hypersensitivity (severe allergic reaction). Tell your healthcare provider about any signs or symptoms of hypersensitivity, which include the following:
    • chest pain
    • swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs
    • difficulty breathing
    • fainting
    • rash
  • superinfection. Bactroban should not be used for extended periods. Prolonged use can lead to the growth of dangerous organisms that are resistant or unresponsive to this medication. Use Bactroban for the duration prescribed by your doctor.

Do not take Bactroban if you are allergic to Bactroban or any of its ingredients.  Use caution when applying to face and avoid eye area.

Bactroban Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Bactroban, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.


Inform MD

Before taking Bactroban, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to any ingredient in Bactroban
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Bactroban and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Bactroban falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with Bactroban. But in animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this medication.

Bactroban and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if Bactroban crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Bactroban.

If your doctor prescribes Bactroban to treat an infected or cracked nipple from nursing, you should maintain your milk supply by hand expressing from the infected breast and discarding the milk for the entire course of treatment with Bactroban.

Bactroban Usage

Use Bactroban exactly as prescribed.

Topical Ointment/Cream:

  • Usually applied 3 times a day. 
  • Make sure the infected area is as clean and dry as possible before applying Bactroban.
  • You should apply only enough medication to thinly cover the infected area.
  • The treated area may be covered by gauze dressing if desired.
  • Avoid contact with eyes

Nasal Ointment:

  • Nasal ointment and is usually applied 2 times a day.
  • After application, press nostrils together and release repeatedly for 1 minutes to ensure ointment is spread throughout the nostrils.
  • Discard tube after use; it should not be reused.
  • Do not use other intranasal products while using Bactroban nasal ointment.

If no improvement is seen in 3 to 5 days, contact your healthcare provider.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not apply two doses of Bactroban at the same time.

Bactroban Dosage

Use Bactroban exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The Bactroban dose your doctor recommends will be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • how you respond to this medication

The recommended dose range for Bactroban in children and adults varies based on the size of the skin infection.

Bactroban Overdose

If you use too much Bactroban, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.


Other Requirements

Store Bactroban at room temperature at 25°C (77°F). Temperature may vary between 15-30°C (59-86°F).

Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.