Bacteria Home > Generic Bactroban

There are three different formulations for Bactroban; however, only the skin ointment is available in generic form. Bactroban skin cream and the nasal ointment are only available in brand-name form. It is unclear when (or if) this situation will change -- there are no patents preventing this. In addition, the skin ointment and the nasal ointment forms are not interchangeable.

Can I Buy Generic Bactroban?

Bactroban® (mupirocin) is a prescription antibiotic. It comes in the form of a skin ointment, which is used to treat impetigo; a skin cream, which is used to treat certain other skin infections; and a nasal ointment, which is used to rid the nostrils of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria.
Brand-name Bactroban is made by GlaxoSmithKline. Generic Bactroban skin ointment is currently available, but the other two products are not yet available in generic form.
Generic mupirocin skin ointment comes in one strength (2%) in 22-gram tubes. Currently, it is made by the following manufacturers:
  • E. Fougera & Co.
  • Perrigo
  • Taro Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals.

When Will Generic Bactroban Cream and Nasal Ointment Be Available?

This is a difficult question to answer. Currently, there are no unexpired patents listed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these two products. However, it is unclear why no manufacturers have chosen to make generic versions of Bactroban cream or nasal ointment.

Can Generic Bactroban Be Used in the Nose?

Generic mupirocin skin ointments (as well as brand-name Bactroban skin ointment) are not designed for use in the nose. They may cause stinging and dryness. It is unclear if there would be differences in effectiveness between the formulations when used in the nose.
It certainly would be much more difficult to use the skin ointment in the nose in an accurate and sanitary manner -- the nasal ointment comes in single-use 1-gram tubes, while the skin ointment comes in 22-gram tubes.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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