Mupirocin (topical)

The need-to-know information for Mupirocin (Bactroban)


Pearls and fun nuggets

1. Mupirocin works well for procedures 🔪 Intranasal mupirocin before surgery is effective for prevention of post-operative wound infection with Staphylcoccus aureus and preventative intranasal or catheter-site treatment is effective for reducing the risk of catheter site infection in persons treated with chronic peritoneal dialysis.[13]

2. Mupirocin doesn’t cover everything 😐 It’s inactive for most anaerobic bacteria, mycobacteria, mycoplasma, chlamydia, yeast and fungi.[12]

3. Mupirocin was initially isolated in 1971 from Pseudomonas fluorescens.[6]

4. Don’t use it for too long ⏳Shortly after the clinical use of mupirocin began, strains of Staphylococcus aureus that were resistant to mupirocin emerged, with nares clearance rates of less than 30% success.[14][15] Due to concerns of developing resistance, use for greater than ten days is not recommended.[4]

Patient Perspectives

“I’ve used this for years with nasal sores and skin sores. Usually after 2 to 3 days the infection clears up. Very helpful medication. There may be slight nasal burning that may last for a minute or two.”


“MD prescribed Mupirocin cream for what he thought was impetigo but swab was negative. Turned out to be roseaca. Cream did not help and actually caused nausea, diarrhea and dizziness. After I stopped using cream, my symptoms disappeared. I’m hyper sensitive to antibiotics and this one is now on the list.”


“As per procedure, before a hospital stay for a knee replacement I had to have my nose swabbed. Prior to this I had a scab in my nose that hurt so I had been using Bactroban on it. When I went for my surgery everyone was gowning up before they came into my room because apparently my nose swab results came back positive for MRSA, and the Bactroban was detected as well. I was told Bactroban was the right medicine to use for the infection and actually by the time of my surgery my nose was already healed.”

Brandon Simpson, PA-C
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