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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Polymyxin, Bacitracin, and Neomycin

Why is this medication prescribed?

This combination of antibiotics is used to treat eye infections and to prevent and treat localized skin infections.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

This medication comes as an ointment that is applied to the skin and as an eye ointment and eye drops. For skin infections, the combination of polymyxin, bacitracin, and neomycin usually is used two or three times a day. For eye infections, it is used once a day or as often as every 3 or 4 hours for 7-10 days. Follow the directions on the package or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use polymyxin, bacitracin, and neomycin exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Thoroughly clean the infected area, allow it to dry, and then gently rub the medication in until most of it disappears. Use just enough medication to cover the affected area. You should wash your hands after applying the medication.

If you obtained this medication without a prescription, do not use it for more than 7 days.

Apply only small amounts to scrapes, cuts, burns, sores, and wounds; do not apply the medication more frequently than directed because neomycin can be absorbed into the body through broken skin and cause kidney problems and hearing difficulty.

Do not apply this medication to a child's diaper area, especially if the skin is raw, unless told to do so by a doctor. If you are directed to apply it to a child's diaper area, do not use tightly fitting diapers or plastic pants; they can increase the absorption of neomycin and cause harmful effects.

To use the eye ointment, follow these steps:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Use a mirror or have someone else apply the ointment.
  • This ointment must be kept clean. Avoid touching the tip of the tube against your eye, eyelid, hands, or any other possible sources of contamination.
  • Lie down or tilt your head back.
  • Holding the tube between your thumb and index finger, place the tube as near as possible to your eyelid without touching it.
  • Brace the remaining fingers of your hand against your cheek or nose.
  • With the index finger of your other hand, pull the lower lid of your eye down to form a pocket.
  • Place a small amount of ointment in the pocket made by your lower lid and eye. A 1/2-inch strip of ointment is usually enough unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • Gently close your eyes and keep them closed for 1-2 minutes to allow the medication to be absorbed. The ointment may cause blurred vision for a few minutes.
  • Replace and tighten the cap right away.
  • Wipe off any excess ointment from your eyelids and lashes with a clean tissue. Wash your hands again to remove any medication.

To use the eye drops, follow these steps:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Use a mirror or have someone else put the drops in your eye.
  • Make sure the end of the dropper is not chipped or cracked and the eye drops are clear (not cloudy).
  • Avoid touching the dropper tip against your eye or anything else.
  • Hold the dropper tip down at all times to prevent drops from flowing back into the bottle and contaminating the remaining contents.
  • Lie down or tilt your head back.
  • Holding the bottle between your thumb and index finger, place the dropper tip as near as possible to your eyelid without touching it.
  • Brace the remaining fingers of that hand against your cheek or nose.
  • With the index finger of your other hand, pull the lower lid of the eye down to form a pocket.
  • Drop the prescribed number of drops into the pocket made by the lower lid and the eye. Placing drops on the surface of the eyeball can cause stinging.
  • Close your eye for 2-3 minutes to keep the medication in the eye. Do not blink.
  • Replace and tighten the cap right away. Do not wipe or rinse it off.
  • Wipe off any excess liquid from your cheek with a clean tissue. Wash your hands again.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using polymyxin, bacitracin, and neomycin,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to polymyxin, bacitracin, neomycin, or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using polymyxin, bacitracin, and neomycin, call your doctor.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from polymyxin, bacitracin, and neomycin are not common, they can occur.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • skin or eye irritation, burning, inflammation, or redness
  • skin rash
  • itching
  • swelling of the lips and face
  • sweating
  • chest tightness
  • faintness
  • hearing difficulty
  • decreased urination

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor. This medication is for external use only. Do not let polymycin, bacitracin, and neomycin get into your eyes, nose, or mouth, and do not swallow it. Do not apply dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the area being treated unless your doctor tells you.

Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the polymycin, bacitracin, and neomycin, call your doctor.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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