Bacterial skin infections, like impetigo and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are often treated with mupirocin (Bactroban®). The medication comes in three different forms, two of which are applied to the skin and one that is applied in the nasal passages. Mupirocin works by preventing bacteria from making an important protein, which hinders them from growing and multiplying.
If your healthcare provider prescribes mupirocin nasal ointment, there are a couple of points you should keep in mind. First of all, this formulation is not the same as the ointment that is applied to the skin. These two products work in different ways and have different dosing guidelines.
Second, after applying the nasal ointment, you should pinch the nostrils together and release repeatedly for one minute. This ensures that the medication is distributed evenly throughout the nose.
(Click Mupirocin to learn more about the nasal and skin formulations of this drug, including general dosing guidelines, possible side effects, and how mupirocin works.)