How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Fusidic acid belongs to a class of medications known as antibiotics. It is used to treat various skin infections caused by certain kinds of bacteria. Such infections may include impetigo and secondary infections (infections that develop after the skin has been injured) to burns or broken skin.

This medication may be 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 or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are being given this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop using 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 use this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Each tube contains sodium fusidate 2% in an ointment base containing lanolin. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cetanol, lanolin anhydrous, liquid paraffin, and white soft paraffin.

How should I use this medication?

Apply a small amount to the affected area 3 or 4 times daily until the infection has cleared. If your doctor has directed you to cover the lesion with a gauze dressing, you may be directed to apply the medication only 1 or 2 times daily.

Take care to avoid the eyes if the medication is being applied to the face.

Many things can affect the dose of a 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 forget to apply this medication, apply it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next application, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not apply 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.

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?

Fusidic acid or sodium fusidate topical products should not be used by anyone who:

  • is allergic to fusidic acid and its salts or to any of the ingredients of this medication
  • is allergic to lanolin (for the ointment form only)

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.

  • allergic reaction at the site of application, including redness, swelling, rash, and/or itching
  • mild irritation at area of application
  • pain (only when medication is applied to deep leg ulcers)

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.

Organism overgrowth: The use of antibiotics applied to the skin occasionally allows organisms that are not killed by the antibiotic to grow to large numbers (overgrowth). If the infection does not improve within a few days or seems to get worse at any time, contact your doctor.

Severe skin infections, or infections that do not appear to heal with the use of a topical (skin-applied) medication, should be treated with a systemic (oral or injectable) antibiotic in addition to or instead of a topical medication.

Pregnancy: 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 immediately.

Breast-feeding: This medication may pass into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are using fusidic acid, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between fusidic acid or sodium fusidate and any of the following:

  • "statins" (e.g., atorvastatin, lovastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin)
  • penicillins (e.g., penicillin, amoxicillin)
  • protease inhibitors (e.g., atazanavir, indinavir, lopinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir)

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. 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. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications 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.