Does Cortisporin (neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin) cause side effects?

Cortisporin Cream (neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin) is a topical antibiotic cream used to treat bacterial skin infections that works by stopping the growth of bacteria.

It also contains an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid that works by reducing swelling and itching. Cortisporin Cream treats only bacterial skin infections. It will not work for other types of skin infections (e.g., infections caused by fungi, viruses). 

Common side effects of Cortisporin Cream include

  • burning,
  • redness,
  • irritation, and
  • dryness of the skin. 

Serious side effects of Cortisporin Cream include

Drug interactions of Cortisporin Cream include aminoglycoside antibiotics and corticosteroids taken by mouth.

During pregnancy, Cortisporin Cream should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if Cortisporin Cream passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What are the important side effects of Cortisporin (neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin)?

Side effects of neomycin sulfate/polymyxin B sulfate/ hydrocortisone acetate are:

  • hypersensitivity,
  • itching,
  • redness,
  • swelling, and
  • skin rash.

Cortisporin (neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin) side effects list for healthcare professionals

  • Neomycin occasionally causes skin sensitization. Ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity have also been reported.
  • Adverse reactions have occurred with topical use of antibiotic combinations including neomycin and polymyxin B.
  • Exact incidence figures are not available since no denominator of treated patients is available.
  • The reaction occurring most often is allergic sensitization.
  • In one clinical study, using a 20% neomycin patch, neomycin-induced allergic skin reactions occurred in two of 2,175 (0.09%) individuals in the general population.
  • In another study, the incidence was found to be approximately 1%.
  • The following local adverse reactions have been reported with topical corticosteroids, especially under occlusive dressings: burning, itching, irritation, dryness, folliculitis, hypertrichosis, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, maceration of the skin, secondary infection, skin atrophy, striae, and miliaria.
  • When steroid preparations are used for long periods of time in intertriginous areas or over extensive body areas, with or without occlusive non-permeable dressings, striae may occur; also there exists the possibility of systemic side effects when steroid preparations are used over large areas or for a long period of time.

What drugs interact with Cortisporin (neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin)?

No information provided.

Summary

Cortisporin (neomycin, bacitracin, and polymyxin) is a topical antibiotic cream used to treat bacterial skin infections that works by stopping the growth of bacteria. Common side effects of Cortisporin Cream include burning, redness, irritation, and dryness of the skin. During pregnancy, Cortisporin Cream should be used only when clearly needed. It is unknown if Cortisporin Cream passes into breast milk.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/25/2020
References
FDA Prescribing Information

Professional side effects and drug interactions sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.