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Generic Name: Mupirocin

Brands: Bactroban, Bactroban Nasal, Centany

Class: Antibiotic

Availability: Prescription required

Molecular Formula: C26H44O9

Substance UNII: D0GX863OA5

What is Mupirocin?

Mupirocin is a topical antibiotic. It is often sold under the trade names Bactroban or Centany.

What is Mupirocin Used For?

Mupirocin is for the treatment of superficial skin infections. It may also be effective against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in the nose when there are no symptoms present. Mupirocin for nasal use comes as a separate nasal ointment. (bactroban nasal doesn’t exist in U.S. anymore)

How Does Mupirocin Work?

Mupirocin is what’s known as an RNA synthetase inhibitor. It works by stopping the growth of specific bacteria on the skin by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme the bacteria need to make proteins. Without these proteins, the bacteria die. 

How Long Does it Take for Mupirocin to Work?

Most see improvement within a few days. 

Do Not Use Mupirocin If:

There are several situations where this medication may not be the right choice for you. According to the FDA, the following should not use mupirocin:

  • Hypersensitivity to mupirocin or any ingredient in Bactroban or Centany
  • Some formulations of bactroban should not be used on large cuts or burns, always follow physicians instructions

Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other situations where the use of this drug is not advisable.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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