Bactroban® Cream is also called mupirocin calcium, and it is generally available by prescription only. Its main use is to treat infections on the skin or to prevent them. The active agent of Bactroban® Cream is mupirocin, which has antibacterial properties and can be used to kill a number of harmful bacteria strains. In clinical tests this agent has shown effectiveness against several types of strep bacteria and methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This makes its use in hospitals common, especially as applied to surgical wounds, though it will obviously not prevent every MRSA case.
The other ingredients in Bactroban® Cream include some forms of alcohol, mineral oil and other chemicals that give the product a creamy and easy to apply feel. Generally, side effects of using this medication are low, but some people may develop rash or skin irritation. If this is the case, a person should contact their physician before applying any more of it. Another general precaution is that it shouldn’t get into the eyes where it can cause significant irritation.
Since this medication is frequently available by prescription only, people should be advised to use it only as intended by the prescribing physician. It should not be used more often if it isn’t improving an infection, and it ought not to be employed for other conditions for which it wasn’t prescribed. Doctors recommend discarding any left over Bactroban® Cream after treatment is ended, or returning it to a pharmacy that has safe drug disposal methods. However, it shouldn’t be considered a substitute for over the counter antibiotic creams like Neosporin®, which are much less powerful.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there have been no tetrogenic effects on pregnant rats or their fetuses when they have been exposed to mupirocin. However, there have not been studies on potential affects to human fetuses as a result of pregnant mothers using this medication. The FDA concludes the medication is safe and effective for children as young as three months, provided it is used in the fashion prescribed. There may be some excretion of Bactroban's active agents in human milk, and women who are nursing should mention this to doctors who might prescribe the medication.
It’s important to recall that medications like Bactroban® Cream are intended to either halt or prevent bacterial infection. They do not work for viral infections. For example, a person treating a cold sore with mupirocin that is caused by a condition like human papillomavirus (HPV) is just as contagious, and a cold sore won’t be cured if they use an antibacterial cream. Doctors, however, might recommend its use for a cold sore that becomes infected.