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Drug Info > N > Neosporin
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DIN (Drug Identification Number)


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Brand Name


Common Name
polymyxin b - neomycin topical compound

In this drug factsheet:

DIN (Drug Identification Number)


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

Polymyxin b - neomycin – gramicidin eye/ear drops belong to the family of medications known as antibacterials. The compound contains a combination of antibiotics used to treat and prevent certain types of eye and ear infections. This medication works by killing the bacteria that cause these infections.

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.

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How should I use this medication?

Eye and ear drops: The suggested dose is 1 or 2 drops in the affected eye or ear 2 to 4 times daily, or more frequently as directed by your doctor. Avoid contaminating the dropper by touching it with the fingers, eyes, ears, or other surfaces. Do not wear contact lenses during eye treatment.

Eye ointment: Apply a thin ribbon of ointment into the lower lid of the eye as directed by your doctor.

Irrigating solution: Your doctor or health care professional will administer the irrigating solution.

Topical ointment: Apply a small quantity 2 to 5 times a day over the affected area. Cover with a dressing or leave exposed as directed by your doctor. Do not use in the eyes.

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.

This medication should not be used for more than 7 days without medical supervision.

It is important to use medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, use 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 use 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.

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.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Irrigating Solution

Each mL of sterile, aqueous solution contains neomycin (as sulfate, 57 mg) 40 mg, polymyxin B (as sulfate) 200,000 units. Nonmedicinal ingredients: methylparaben, sulfuric acid, and/or sodium hydroxide, as pH adjusters. Not for injection.


Each g contains polymyxin B sulfate 5000 units, bacitracin zinc 400 units, and neomycin sulfate 5 mg, in a low melting point petrolatum base.

Except for Neosporin irrigating solution - for which dilution is required for administration - dilution of Neosporin is not recommended; reduction of the antibiotic concentrations may reduce their therapeutic efficacy.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not use polymyxin – neomycin -gramicidin eye/ear drops if you:

  • are allergic to polymyxin b, neomycin, gramicidin, or to any of the ingredients of the medication
  • are allergic to any other medications in the class of medications known as aminoglycosides (e.g., gentamicin)
  • are using the drop solution for the ear and you have, or may have, a rupture (i.e., a hole) in your eardrum, or if you have chronic ear infections
  • are using the drops in the eye during surgical eye procedures or before eye surgery
  • have deafness caused by nerve damage

This medication should not be used for children younger than 2 years of age.



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