How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Polymyxin B sulfate - bacitracin zinc - gramicidin contains a combination of antibiotics used for the treatment of certain types of infections caused by bacteria. The topical ointment can be used to treat certain skin infections such as infected wounds, burns, skin grafts, boils, and acne. It can also be used to prevent catheter-related infections in people who receive hemodialysis. This medication works by killing the bacteria that cause these infections.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each gram of ointment contains polymyxin B sulfate 10,000 IU (international units), bacitracin zinc 500 IU and gramicidin 0.25 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: vitamin E (dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate) and white petrolatum.
How should I use this medication?
Apply the ointment 1 to 3 times a day over the affected area. Cover with a dressing or leave exposed as directed by your doctor. Do not use the ointment in the eyes.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are using the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, and keep it out of the reach of children.
This medication is available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms listed here. The forms available for the specific brand you have searched are listed under, "What form(s) does this medication come in?"
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Polymyxin B - bacitracin - gramicidin should not be used by anyone who is allergic to polymyxin B, bacitracin, gramicidin, or to any of the ingredients of the medication.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- irritation of the area where the ointment is applied
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a severe allergic reaction such as severe rash or hives; difficulty breathing; or swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Overgrowth of organisms: Prolonged use of this medication may cause an overgrowth of organisms that this medication does not effectively kill. If your symptoms worsen or do not improve, call your doctor as soon as possible.
Pregnancy: It is not clear what effects polymyxin B - bacitracin zinc - gramicidin may have on the unborn baby when used by pregnant women. This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if polymyxin B - bacitracin zinc - gramicidin passeHs into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Seniors: The maximum dose should be reduced for seniors with decreased kidney function.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. In many cases, interactions are intended or are managed by close monitoring. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.