Meds and you

27 September 2013

Bacitracin

Bacitracin is an anti-bacterial drug. Anti-bacterials are drugs that kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria and are therefore useful in treating minor infections.

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Bacitracin (Also known as Zinc Bacitracin)

Bacitracin is on of the active ingredients of Polysporin ointment (Nappi code: 704435-001) & Cicatrin powder (Nappi code: 714364-002).

General information

Bacitracin is an anti-bacterial drug. Anti-bacterials are drugs that kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria and are therefore useful in treating minor infections.

In South Africa bacitracin is registered for the treatment and prevention of infection of wounds, cuts, burns and ulcers.

For this medication to be effective it has to be taken regularly, even if you do not notice an immediate effect. It is only effective against bacterial infections and is of no use when treating viral infections such as fever blisters.

It is advised not to discontinue treatment before the recommended course has been completed.

How does bacitracin work?
This drug destroys bacteria by interfering with its ability to form a cell wall.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 1
Available as: bacitracin is only available in combination with other antibacterials/antibiotics, and not on its own. These are available as ointment and powder.
What does it do? Bacitracin acts as an antibiotic and alleviates minor bacterial infections of the skin
Overdose risk: medium
Dependence risk: low
Is bacitracin available as a generic? no
Is bacitracin available on prescription only? no

User information

Stopping this medicine: it is advised not to discontinue treatment before the recommended course has been completed.
Prolonged use: prolonged use may result in bacterial resistance and super infections - an overgrowth of bacteria that are immune to this antibiotic.
Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant
Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: no special precautions need to be taken.
The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.
Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.
Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

 

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor
 
Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
itching
 
X
X
 
burning sensation
 
X
X
 
skin rash
 
X
 
X
fungal infections
 
X
X
 

Interactions Drug interactions
No drug interactions are known

Overdose action A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage Dosage depends on the formulation used. It is generally applied 1- 4 times a day.

Interesting fact Bacitracin is commonly used as an aftercare antibiotic on tattoos.

 

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.
 

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