Although some people may believe that it is acceptable to use over-the-counter (OTC) Neosporin® products in the eyes, this is not recommended. These products are intended for use only on the skin. While it may not cause any problems in most situations, serious reactions are possible and other, more appropriate treatments are usually available.
Prescription Neosporin eye products are available, but they are not exactly the same as the over-the-counter skin products. The over-the-counter skin products contain several different inactive ingredients that are not intended for use in the eye.
More importantly, products that contain neomycin (including Neosporin) are generally not recommended for treating eye infections anymore, as they have a tendency to cause adverse reactions in the eyes. Even the prescription versions are rarely used at this time.
(For more information on why you should not put Neosporin in your eyes, click Neosporin Uses. This article offers a complete overview of uses for the medication, how it works, and its safety in children.)
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Original Neosporin First Aid Ointment [product label]. Johnson & Johnson.
Neosporin + Pain Relief First Aid Antibiotic/Pain Relieving Cream [product label]. Johnson & Johnson.
Neosporin + Pain Relief First Aid Antibiotic/Pain Relieving Ointment [product label]. Johnson & Johnson.
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