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Mupirocin Warnings and Precautions

Mupirocin skin ointment contains an inactive ingredient that can cause problems for people with certain health conditions. Although this problem is rare, it demonstrates why precautions and warnings with mupirocin need to be reviewed with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment. Being aware of the safety concerns that apply to you can help ensure an effective treatment process.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Prior to using mupirocin (Bactroban®), tell your healthcare provider if you have:
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • A severe burn or large open wound
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Mupirocin

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using mupirocin include the following:
  • Mupirocin skin ointment contains polyethylene glycol. In almost all situations, this poses no problems. However, if a significant amount of polyethylene glycol is absorbed, which might happen with severe burns or large open wounds, polyethylene toxicity could result, especially in people with kidney problems.
  • Skin formulations of mupirocin are not meant for use in the nose. Only the nasal ointment is meant for this purpose.
  • Overuse of antibiotics increases the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Your healthcare provider should prescribe antibiotics only when necessary. They are not effective for treating viral or fungal infections.
  • If you are using mupirocin to treat an infection, let your healthcare provider know if the condition does not improve within three to five days.
  • Mupirocin is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it may be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Mupirocin and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if this medication passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Mupirocin and Breastfeeding).
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