Consumer medicine information


Mupirocin (2%w/w)

Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet?

Please read this leaflet carefully before you use BACTROBAN ointment.

This leaflet answers some common questions about BACTROBAN ointment. It does not contain all of the available information.

It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the expected benefits of you using BACTROBAN ointment against the risks this medicine could have for you.

If you are helping someone else to use BACTROBAN ointment, read this leaflet before applying the first application.

If you have any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.

What BACTROBAN ointment is used for

BACTROBAN ointment contains mupirocin (2% w/w) as the active ingredient.

Mupirocin belongs to a group of medicines called antibiotics. Antibiotics work by killing bacteria which can cause infection.

BACTROBAN ointment is used for the treatment of mild impetigo (school sores).

BACTROBAN ointment is for use on your skin only.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed BACTROBAN ointment for another reason.

BACTROBAN ointment is not addictive.

Before you use BACTROBAN ointment

When you must not use it

You must not use BACTROBAN ointment if you have an allergy to:

  • any medicine containing mupirocin
  • any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.

Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
  • rash, itching or hives on the skin

Do not use BACTROBAN ointment after the expiry date printed on the pack, or the ointment shows visible signs of deterioration, or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering. If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.

If you are not sure whether you should start using this medicine, talk to your doctor.

Before you start to use it

Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to foods, dyes, preservatives or any other medicines.

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines you buy without a prescription.

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits with you.

If you are using BACTROBAN ointment on a cracked nipple, wash the nipple well before breast feeding your baby.

BACTROBAN ointment should not be used to treat infections in or near the eyes, nostrils or mouth. If BACTROBAN ointment is accidentally applied to the eyes, wash the eyes thoroughly with water.

BACTROBAN ointment contains polyethylene glycol. Do not use BACTROBAN ointment on large areas of broken or damaged skin, especially if you suffer from reduced kidney function.

BACTROBAN ointment should not be used to treat areas of skin near tubes inserted into your body for the delivery or removal of fluid (cannulae). BACTROBAN ointment should not be used in combination with cannulae.

If you develop an allergic reaction (such as a rash, local pain or swelling), wipe off the ointment, stop using BACTROBAN ointment and tell your doctor.

Medicines like BACTROBAN ointment can cause inflammation of the colon (large intestine), causing diarrhoea, usually with blood and mucus, stomach pain, fever (pseudomembranous colitis). Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you get any of these symptoms.

If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start using BACTROBAN ointment.

Taking other medicines

Do not mix BACTROBAN ointment with any other preparation. They may prevent BACTROBAN ointment from working.

How to use BACTROBAN ointment

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.

If you have any questions about BACTROBAN ointment and how to use it, please ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.

How much to use

Use BACTROBAN ointment as directed by your doctor or pharmacist.

The usual recommendation is for a small amount to be applied to the affected area three times a daily.

How to use it

Always wash your hands before and after applying BACTROBAN ointment. With a piece of clean cotton wool or a gauze swab, apply a small quantity of BACTROBAN ointment to cover the affected area.

After applying the ointment, you may cover the treated area with a sterile bandage or gauze dressing, unless your doctor has told you to leave it uncovered.

How long to use it

Use BACTROBAN ointment for as long as your doctor or pharmacist tells you to. BACTROBAN ointment is usually applied for up to 10 days.

It is important that you take the full course of BACTROBAN ointment. Do not stop early as your symptoms may disappear before the infection is fully cleared.

If you forget to use it

If you forget an application, apply some BACTROBAN ointment as soon as you can, then continue as before.

Use in children

The use of BACTROBAN ointment in children under two years of age is not recommended.

If you use too much

Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, if you think you or anyone else may have swallowed a large quantity of BACTROBAN ointment, even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.

If you are not sure what to do, contact your doctor, pharmacist or nearest hospital.

While you are using BACTROBAN ointment

Things you must do

If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking BACTROBAN ointment.

Tell any other doctors, dentists, and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.

If you become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.

Tell your doctor if, for any reason, you have not used your medicine exactly as directed. Otherwise, your doctor may think that it was not working as it should and change your treatment unnecessarily.

Things you must not do

Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.

Do not use BACTROBAN ointment to treat any other complaints unless your doctor says to.

Do not stop using BACTROBAN ointment, or change the dose without first checking with your doctor.

Side effects

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are using BACTROBAN ointment. This medicine helps most people, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you think you are experiencing any side effects or allergic reactions due to taking BACTROBAN ointment, even if the problem is not listed below.

Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side-effects. You may not experience any of them.

The most commonly reported side-effects are:

  • Itching
  • Dryness
  • Burning
  • Redness
  • Stinging
  • Pain
  • Swelling

Allergic reactions such as a rash, hives or swelling can occur with the use of BACTROBAN ointment.

If you get a skin reaction, stop using BACTROBAN cream. Wipe off any cream and tell your doctor as soon as possible.

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • Swelling, itching, burning or pain in the area where BACTROBAN ointment is applied.
  • Wheezing, swelling of the lips/mouth, difficulty in breathing, hayfever, lumpy rash (hives) or fainting. These could be symptoms of an allergic reaction.

This is not a complete list of all possible side-effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side-effects not yet known.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any side effects from your medicine which are not mentioned here.

After using BACTROBAN ointment


You should keep BACTROBAN ointment in the original pack below 25°C. Do not freeze the ointment.

Do not store BACTROBAN ointment or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.

Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.

Return any unused or expired medicine to your pharmacist.

Product description

What BACTROBAN ointment looks like

BACTROBAN ointment is a white ointment supplied in 15 g tubes.


BACTROBAN ointment contains the active ingredient Mupirocin.

BACTROBAN ointment also contains polyethylene glycol (Macrogol 400 and Macrogol 3350).


GlaxoSmithKline Australia Pty Ltd
Level 4
436 Johnston Street
Abbotsford Victoria 3067

This leaflet was prepared on 10 October 2013.

The information provided applies only to BACTROBAN® ointment.

BACTROBAN® is a registered trade mark of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.

BACTROBAN ointment:
AUST R 11145

©2010 GlaxoSmithKline

Version 4.0

Published by MIMS January 2014