Bacitracin Ointment Skin Eye Uses Side Effects Dosage

Bacitracin Ointment Skin Eye Uses Side Effects Dosage

bacitracin topical

Bacitracin topical is an antibiotic ointment used to prevent infection in minor skin injuries such as cuts, scrapes, and burns. It is also used to treat infections in the eye and eyelids.

Bacitracin is a mixture of cyclic polypeptide antibiotics that inhibit bacterial growth and kill bacteria. By preventing the transfer of mucopeptides to the bacterial cell wall, bacitracin disrupts cell wall synthesis and bacterial growth. It also inhibits enzymes involved in bacterial cell membrane functions.

Bacitracin is available over the counter (OTC) for topical use and requires a prescription for ophthalmic use. It is primarily effective against gram-positive bacteria and some gram-negative bacteria. Gram-negative bacteria have an additional outer membrane that gram-positive bacteria lack, making them less susceptible to bacitracin.

Susceptible organisms include:

Staphylococcus species (including some penicillin G resistant strains), Streptococcus species, Corynebacterium species, Clostridium species, anaerobic cocci, gonococci, meningococci (Neisseria species), fusobacteria, Treponema pallidum, Treponema vincentii, and Actinomyces species.


  • Do not use bacitracin if you are hypersensitive to any of its components.
  • Topical antibiotics can induce immune reactions, including immediate or delayed reactions.
  • Allergic skin reactions, including rash and contact dermatitis, as well as serious hypersensitivity reactions such as anaphylaxis, have been reported with bacitracin.
  • Patients sensitive to bacitracin may also be cross-sensitive to polymyxin B.
  • Do not use bacitracin in the external ear canal if you have a perforated eardrum.
  • Use ophthalmic ointment for eye infections, not the OTC topical formulation.
  • Do not use bacitracin if you have a hypersensitivity disorder (atopy).
  • Do not use bacitracin for deep-seated eye infections or those that can become systemic.
  • Prolonged use of topical or ophthalmic antibiotics can lead to overgrowth of nonsusceptible organisms, including fungi.
READ MORE  Shark Cartilage Arthritis Uses Side Effects Dosage


What are the side effects of bacitracin topical?

Common side effects include:


  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Rare hypersensitivity reaction


  • Eye irritation
  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Stinging and itching
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive sweating
  • Blood disorders
  • Hypersensitivity reaction

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms like fast or pounding heartbeats, severe headache, confusion, stiff muscles, or serious eye symptoms.

This is not a complete list of side effects. Consult your doctor or report side effects to the FDA.

What are the dosages of bacitracin topical?


  • 500 unit/g (3.5 g)

Adult and Pediatric:

Dermal Infections (Superficial)

  • Apply the ointment once daily or every 8 hours

Ocular Infections

  • Apply a small amount every 3-4 hours or every 8-12 hours for mild to moderate infections for 7-10 days


  • Topical or ophthalmic application is unlikely to result in overdose. Ingestion may be toxic to the kidneys. Seek medical help if ingested orally.
  • Treatment for overdose may include symptomatic and supportive care.

What drugs interact with bacitracin topical?

Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking to check for possible drug interactions.

  • Bacitracin topical has no known severe, serious, mild, or moderate interactions with other drugs.

For more information on drug interactions, consult the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.

Always inform your doctor or healthcare provider about all medications you use, as well as the dosage for each. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or healthcare provider.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • Topical bacitracin is unlikely to cause adverse fetal events in pregnant women due to minimal systemic absorption.
  • For ophthalmic use during pregnancy, use the minimum effective dose and block tear duct openings to minimize drug exposure to the fetus.
  • Topical and ophthalmic use of bacitracin can be acceptable for nursing mothers, but avoid applying on the nipple region.
  • Always consult with your physician before using any OTC drug if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
READ MORE  DIPYRIDAMOLE - ORAL Persantine side effects medical uses and drug interactions

Additional considerations

  • Use bacitracin exactly as prescribed.
  • Do not use for longer than one week without physician direction.
  • Contact your physician if new infections develop or if you experience allergic reactions.
  • Store safely out of reach of children.
  • In case of accidental ingestion, seek medical help or contact Poison Control.

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet’s Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet’s subscriptions at any time.


Bacitracin topical is an antibiotic ointment used to prevent infection in minor skin injuries. It is also used to treat infections in the eye and eyelids. Common side effects include rash, itching, pain, contact dermatitis, and hypersensitivity reaction. Use bacitracin exactly as prescribed and contact your physician if new infections develop or if you experience allergic reactions.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *