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Mupirocin nasal ointment

Bactroban Nasal Ointment

Mupirocin nasal ointment kills germs (bacteria) in the nose.

Use it two or three times a day for five days - apply the ointment into both nostrils.

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About mupirocin nasal ointment

Type of medicine

An antibacterial ointment

Used for

To kill germs (bacteria) in the nose (adults and children)

Also called

Bactroban Nasal® Ointment

Available as

Nasal Ointment

Mupirocin nasal ointment is used to kill bacteria which can live in your nose, and which can spread to other people when you breathe or sneeze. It is used in particular to kill bacteria called meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can cause skin infections. Although you may have MRSA in your nose and be otherwise well, MRSA is easily spread to other people. If it spreads to a person who is frail or already ill, it can be difficult to treat.

Mupirocin nasal ointment must only be used for your nose, but there is also a cream and an ointment containing mupirocin which is used to kill bacteria on the skin. See separate medicine leaflet called Mupirocin for skin infections which gives more information about this.

Before using mupirocin

To make sure that this is the right treatment for you, before you start using mupirocin it is important that your doctor knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding - although mupirocin is not known to be harmful to babies, it is still important that you tell your doctor about this.

  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine, or to any skin preparation.

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How to use mupirocin nasal ointment

  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about the nasal ointment.

  • Wash your hands before you use the ointment. Use your little finger or a cotton wool bud to apply a small amount of ointment (about the size of a match head) to the inside of each nostril. Press the sides of your nose together for a short while to allow the ointment to spread around the inside of your nostrils. Use it in this way two or three times a day for five days. It is likely that you will be tested a day or so after you have finished using the ointment, to make sure it has worked. If there are still some bacteria remaining in your nose, you will be asked to repeat the treatment.

  • For mupirocin to work properly it should be applied regularly during the course of treatment. If you forget to use it at your usual time, apply it as soon as you remember and then go on as before.

  • If you are due to have an operation or any dental treatment, please tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are using mupirocin nasal ointment.

Can mupirocin nasal ointment cause problems?

It is unusual to experience unwanted side-effects with mupirocin. Occasionally it can cause itching or tingling when it's first used, but this soon passes. Rarely, some people have experienced an allergic reaction to it. If you develop a particularly irritating or severe reaction, stop using the ointment and speak with your doctor for further advice as soon as possible.

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How to store mupirocin nasal ointment

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.

  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Important information about all medicines

Important information about all medicines

This preparation is for use in the nose only. If someone swallows some of it by accident, contact the accident and emergency department of your local hospital for advice.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Report side effects to a medicine or vaccine

If you experience side effects, you can report them online through the Yellow Card website.

Further reading and references

Article history

The information on this page is written and peer reviewed by qualified clinicians.

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