Bacteria Home > Bactroban Warnings and Precautions

If you have a large, open wound, the antibiotic Bactroban may not be right for you. Precautions and warnings with Bactroban also apply to people with kidney disease, who may be particularly sensitive to one of the inactive ingredients in the skin ointment form of this medication. If your infection has not improved within three to five days, contact your healthcare provider.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Prior to taking Bactroban® (mupirocin), tell your healthcare provider if you have:
  • A severe burn or large open wound
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Bactroban

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include the following:
  • If you are using Bactroban to treat an infection, let your healthcare provider know if the infection does not improve within three to five days.
  • Bactroban skin ointment contains polyethylene glycol. In almost all situations, this poses no problems. However, if a significant amount of polyethylene glycol is absorbed, which might happen with severe burns or large open wounds, polyethylene toxicity could result, especially in people with kidney problems.
  • Bactroban skin cream and ointment are not meant for use in the nose. Only Bactroban nasal ointment is meant for this purpose.
  • Overuse of antibiotics (including Bactroban) increases the risk for developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Your healthcare provider should prescribe antibiotics only when necessary. Antibiotics are not effective for treating viral or fungal infections.
  • Bactroban is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it may be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Mupirocin and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if this medication passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Mupirocin and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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