mupirocin, mupirocin calcium

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: mupirocin, mupirocin calcium

BRAND NAME: Bactroban, Bactroban Nasal, Centany

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Mupirocin is an antibiotic that is used topically (on the skin) for the treatment of impetigo, a bacterial disease of the skin caused by Staphylococcus aureus, beta-hemolytic streptococcus and Streptococcus pyogenes. It also is used intranasally (inside the nose) by patients and some people who work in healthcare centers to eliminate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that have colonized the inside of the nose.

Unlike most other antibiotics which act on either bacterial DNA or the walls of bacteria, mupirocin blocks the activity of an enzyme called isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase within the bacteria. This enzyme is necessary in order for the bacteria to make proteins. Without the ability to make proteins, the bacteria die. Because of its unique mechanism of action, there is little chance that bacteria will have become resistant to mupirocin because of exposure to other antibiotics. Mupirocin topical cream was approved by the FDA in December, 1987. The intranasal form was approved in October 1995.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Topical Ointment:  2% (20 mg/g). Topical Cream:  2% (20 mg/g). Nasal ointment:  2% (20 mg/g).

STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C-30 C (59 F-86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Mupirocin is used for the treatment of impetigo and infections of the skin caused by Staphylococcus aureus, beta-hemolytic streptococcus or Streptococcus pyogenes. Mupirocin is not recommended for use on the skin in serious burns, because more of the vehicle (the inactive ingredient) used for the ointment, polyethylene glycol (Miralax), may be absorbed and can damage the kidneys. The nasal ointment  is used for the elimination of nasal Staphylococcus aureus that have become resistant to other antibiotics. Mupirocin also may be used for other infections as determined by the physician.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/8/2014



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index