Healthcare providers will use Bactroban to treat a wide range of bacterial infections; however, the medication cannot be used against all bacteria; nor is it effective against viral or fungal infections. In particular, Bactroban works against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is often used to treat healthcare workers or adults in institutional settings during a MRSA outbreak. Some forms are approved for children; others are not.
Bactroban® (mupirocin) is a prescription antibiotic. It is available in a skin ointment, a skin cream, and a nasal ointment. Each product is approved for different uses.
Bactroban nasal ointment is approved to get rid of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria in the nose in healthcare workers and adult patients during MRSA outbreaks in institutional settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes.
In this situation, the drug is used to treat colonization, not infection. This means it is used to get rid of bacteria that normally inhabit the nostrils of an individual and do not usually cause symptoms in that particular person. Many people are "carriers" of the MRSA bacteria in their noses; this may be a way that MRSA is spread from person to person.
Bactroban skin ointment is used for treating impetigo due to Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes. Impetigo is a skin infection that is quite common among young children. Bactroban skin cream is approved to treat "secondarily infected traumatic skin lesions" (infections that occur after an injury or wound to the skin).
This medication is effective only against bacteria, and only against specific types of bacteria. It is ineffective for treating viral infections (such as herpes) or fungal infections (such as ringworm).