What is Bacitracin used to treat? Symptoms, side effects and warnings

General information about Bacitracin

Brand Name: Baci-Rx, BACiiM, Baciguent
Drug class: Topical Antibiotics.


What is Bacitracin used to treat?


Bacitracin or neomycin is an antibiotic medication1. This medication is only used topically. It is used to treat bacterial skin infections such as minor skin injuries including scrapes, cuts, and burns, and prevent them from causing infection. It only prevents bacterial infections and does not work in case of viral or fungal infection. It can be used alone or along with a combination of other medications.

Bacitracin is available in ointment and injection forms. However, it is mainly used as an ointment. Injections are used only in certain cases such as for the treatment of infants with pneumonia caused by staphylococci bacteria. In January 2020 due to the various side effects caused by injection form, the FDA2 requested that bacitracin for injection should be withdrawn from the market.

Bacitracin is a polypeptide antibiotic and it works by stopping the growth of bacteria. Bacterial infections are caused when bacteria enter through small breaks in the skin secondary to cuts or scrapes in any part of the body. The bacteria may come from the surrounding skin, outside environment, or the object that caused the injury and then begin to multiply. Bacitracin is used to prevent such bacterial infections. It is important to cure the infection within the time otherwise, it can cause a potentially serious infection called cellulitis.

Side effects of Bacitracin

Every medication has its own benefits and side effects. One should use the medications by keeping in mind the benefits and side effects of the medications. Bacitracin can only prevent bacterial infections and hence it does not work on infections caused by viruses or fungi.

It is available in the market and can be used without a prescription but one should always follow all the directions that are written on the package and consult the doctor in case of any doubts. This medication should not be overused as overusing can decrease its effectiveness. Also, it should not be used for serious skin infections such as deep wounds or animal bites. Bacitracin also should not be used for large areas.

How to use Bacitracin

First, wash your hands properly. Then clean and dry the affected area. After that apply a small amount of medication in a thin layer on the area and cover the area with a sterile bandage if needed. A person can apply the cream usually 1 to 3 times a day or as prescribed by the doctor. Also, use the medication at the same time each day to get the most benefit.


Avoid applying a larger amount of the medication. Always wash your hands after use to avoid contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth. If this occurs, then immediately rinse the medication thoroughly with water. Do not use the medication if the condition persists after a few days, or the person develops a rash or an allergic reaction and seeks immediate medical attention. This medication can contain an inactive ingredient which can cause allergic reactions so before using this medication, always check if you are allergic to neomycin or tell your doctor about any other allergies you have.

In case of a person going to have surgery then always tell consult your doctor before using this medication. Lactating women should also consult about the use of this medication with their doctor before breastfeeding. This medication should be stored at a temperature between 2° to 8° C in a tightly closed container protected from light. The shelf life of this medication is 36 months. Always use before the expiry date given on the product label.

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