Mupirocin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that works to reduce the levels of bacteria on the skin; this thanks to the fact that it is capable of inhibiting the bacterial synthesis of proteins. Mupirocin is highly effective against a large number of great positive and some great negative bacteria. It was previously called pseudomonic acid, since it is a secondary product obtained by the fermentation of Pseudomonas fluorescens.
This drug is used in topical application as a cream or ointment to combat infections of the skin or nose, caused by Staphylococcus Aureus (staphylococcus aureus) and some species of streptococci, bacteria responsible for skin infections such as impetigo, folliculitis, cellulitis, boils. and epidermal necrolysis. It is also effective against bacteria such as staphylococci and streptococci.
Mechanism of action of Mupirocin
The mechanism of action of mupirocin is antibiotic, bacteriostatic and bacterial. It consists of acting by cutting the connection between the bacterial enzyme isoleucine-RNA-transferase, and proteins. This enzyme is the transporter of the amino acid isoleucine to carry out protein synthesis. Thus, by severing this connection, the spread of most large positive germs and other bacteria is completely cut off. In this way it is possible to reduce skin infections and cure them.
Mupirocin is rapidly metabolized, therefore its use has only been developed topically, to be rapidly absorbed through human skin and inactivated in plasma.
How is mupirocin used?
Mupirocin ointment should be applied to the skin directly over the affected area. Always use under the prescription and supervision of a doctor to know that this treatment will be effective against your pathology. The area of application should be very clean, and then, with clean hands, apply a thin film of mupirocin. The area can be covered with sterile gauze or left uncovered.
It usually should be applied two to three times a day for one to two weeks or until the infection clears. In burns, the product should not be applied without the doctor having recommended it and given the correct indications.
The doctor’s instructions and those on the product label should be followed carefully. Do not exceed the dose or use more times than recommended. The use is only external.
What is mupirocin used for in babies?
One of the many uses for this ointment is to treat diaper rash. This ointment is recommended for cases of diaper rash, known as diaper rash; always taking into account that it will be effective in diaper rash caused by bacteria. Therefore, in cases of diaper rash caused by fungi, it will not be a good treatment because it is not an antifungal.
To use it in these cases, only a thin layer should be applied to the injured skin. As for the frequency of application, it is recommended, generally, twice a day. However, consult a pediatrician before using this medicine, as the baby may have allergies to it.
Mupirocin for acne
This effect acts on the acidic environments of the skin to avoid the spread only bacterially. This drug is not effective against the bacteria present in acne lesions, therefore it is not a very effective treatment against it.
Therefore, in the case of acne, it should be a dermatologist or specialist who recommends the use of this drug if necessary in your case, since in most situations there will probably be another product that may be more effective than mupirocin. It is not recommended that you apply this drug without first consulting with a doctor.
Mupirocin for fungi
Mupirocin has an effective indication in the topical treatment of skin dermatological infections, whether primary or secondary.
It is the drug par excellence for the treatment of infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, among which are: folliculitis, furunculosis, impetigo, eczematous and atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, infected trauma injuries, etc. It is also effective against other susceptible skin germs such as S. epidermidis, S. saprophyticus and S. haemolyticus.
What is nasal Mupirocin for?
Another of the many uses for this drug is nasal mupirocin. This serves as an active antibiotic both in the treatment and prevention for carriers of Staphylococcus aureus in the nasal passages. This as a measure to treat or avoid certain bacterial infections in the nose produced by this bacteria.
Many healthcare workers, such as doctors or nurses, can be exposed to staph infections due to working conditions. In these cases, mupirocin is usually prescribed at the nasal level to prevent the spread of the infection and prevent being carriers of this bacterium. However, its use should not be done for a long time to avoid bacterial resistance or allergic reactions.
For the application, it is enough to place a thin layer of the cream in the nostrils. This will be enough to attack the bacteria present and prevent spreading them to other people.
Mupirocin for burns?
Mupirocin has a main antibiotic use on the skin, so its use has sometimes been associated with the treatment of acne, fungi or burns. However, this drug does not have any effect on fungal or viral conditions, nor does it have a significant effect on skin irritation or burns. It is not recommended to use this medicine in these cases.
- Avoid contact of this medicine with the eyes or mouth at all costs. It is only used externally and topically.
- Before using mupirocin, tell your doctor if you are taking any medications, especially chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin); or if you have used another cosmeceutical for your skin condition. Your doctor will determine whether or not it is advisable to prescribe mupirocin in your case.
- To date, mupirocin has not been shown to have any adverse reaction during pregnancy or lactation, however, if you are pregnant or suspected, consult your doctor before use.
- If after the end of the recommended period and the application doses, the infection has not diminished, you should consult your doctor about a change in treatment, since the medicine is probably not attacking the battery that is presented on the skin. Long-term use of this ointment can create bacterial resistance.
- If you miss a dose, do not apply more product than recommended to make up for it. Wait for the next dose.
How to store mupirocin
Mupirocin should be stored in its tightly closed container, in a place out of the reach of children. It should be stored at room temperature in a place that is not exposed to heat or humidity, since otherwise it is usually damaged or contaminated.
Always check the expiration date of the medicine before use, especially when it has been stored for long periods of time.
Mupirocin side effects
Because mupirocin is a topical treatment, it has very few or no side effects or unfavorable reactions. However, in the event of any worsening symptoms, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Some of the side effects that could occur in case of allergy are:
- Skin rashes like a rash.
- Severe itching
- Scabs or hives.
- Edema or swelling of the skin of the hands or face.
- Tingling sensation in the mouth or throat.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Stomach ache.
Mupirocin also contains polyethylene glycol in its commercial presentation, a component that can be nephrotoxic in patients with severe kidney failure, so great caution should be exercised in these cases, especially in older adults who may be predisposed to kidney disease.
Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.