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Neo-Cortef (Generic Neomycin Topical)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Neomycin topical is a medication prescribed for various skin conditions, particularly those involving bacterial infections. It belongs to a class of drugs called aminoglycoside antibiotics.

Neomycin topical is primarily used to prevent or treat skin infections caused by susceptible bacteria. It works by inhibiting the growth and spread of bacteria on the skin, reducing the risk of infection and promoting healing.

Some common conditions for which neomycin topical may be prescribed include:

  • Minor skin wounds or cuts: Neomycin can be applied to prevent infection in small cuts, scrapes, or burns.
  • Impetigo: This is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection that commonly affects children. Neomycin can be used to treat impetigo, along with other appropriate measures.
  • Dermatitis: To avoid secondary bacterial infections, neomycin may be given for specific kinds of dermatitis, such as allergic contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis.
  • Eczema: In cases where eczema leads to open sores or breaks in the skin, neomycin may be used to prevent or treat bacterial infections.

How should this medicine be used?

Neomycin topical should be used according to the instructions provided by your healthcare provider or as indicated on the medication’s label. Here are some general guidelines for using neomycin topical:

  • Clean the affected area: Before applying neomycin, gently clean the affected area of the skin with mild soap and water. Pat the area dry with a clean towel.
  • Apply a thin layer: Take a small amount of neomycin ointment or cream (usually a thin layer) and apply it directly to the affected area. Rub it in gently until it is evenly distributed.
  • Wash your hands: After applying the medication, wash your hands thoroughly to remove any residual ointment or cream.
  • Frequency of application: Neomycin topical is typically applied 2 to 4 times a day, or as directed by your healthcare provider. Follow the prescribed dosage and frequency strictly.
  • Duration of use: The duration of treatment will depend on the specific condition being treated. It is essential to complete the full course of treatment even if the symptoms improve, unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare provider.
  • Avoid contact with eyes, nose, and mouth: Neomycin topical should not come into contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, or any mucous membranes. If accidental contact occurs, rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Avoid covering with airtight dressings: Unless specifically instructed by your healthcare provider, it is generally recommended to avoid covering the treated area with airtight dressings, as this may increase the risk of adverse effects.
  • Follow additional instructions: Your healthcare provider may provide additional instructions based on your specific condition. Make sure to follow them carefully.

Always consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about how to use neomycin topical properly. They can provide you with the most accurate and personalized advice based on your individual needs.

Other uses for this medicine

Aside from its primary use as a topical antibiotic for skin infections, neomycin may also be used for other purposes. However, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional before using neomycin for any off-label or alternative uses, as they can provide specific guidance based on your individual circumstances.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions associated with neomycin topical, here are a few key points to consider:

  • Allergies: If you have known allergies to neomycin or other aminoglycoside antibiotics, inform your healthcare provider before using neomycin topical. Allergic reactions can occur and may range from mild skin irritation to severe hypersensitivity reactions.
  • Avoid prolonged use: Prolonged use of neomycin topical may increase the risk of developing antibiotic resistance. It’s important to use the medication as directed and for the prescribed duration.
  • Sensitivity: Some individuals may be more sensitive to neomycin, and prolonged or excessive use may cause skin irritation or contact dermatitis. If you experience severe skin irritation, redness, swelling, or itching after applying neomycin, discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Neomycin topical is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding when applied to the skin as directed. However, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider before using any medication during these periods.
  • Interaction with other medications: Neomycin topical is primarily applied to the skin, so the risk of significant interactions with other medications is low. However, it’s still important to inform your healthcare provider about any other medications or topical products you are using to ensure there are no potential interactions.

These are general precautions, and it’s essential to follow the specific guidance provided by your healthcare provider or as stated on the medication’s label. If you have any concerns or questions about using neomycin topical, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for personalized advice.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Neomycin topical is a medication applied to the skin, so there are no specific dietary instructions associated with its use. You do not need to make any changes to your diet while using neomycin topical.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Regarding a missed dose, if you forget to apply neomycin topical at the scheduled time, you should apply it as soon as you remember. However, if it is close to the time for your next scheduled application, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Neomycin topical, like any medication, can potentially cause side effects, although not everyone will experience them. Common side effects associated with neomycin topical include:

  • Skin irritation: Neomycin can sometimes cause mild to moderate skin irritation, such as redness, itching, burning, or stinging at the application site.
  • Allergic reactions: While rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to neomycin. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include severe skin rash, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, or tightness in the chest. Allergic reactions require immediate medical attention.
  • Contact dermatitis: Prolonged or excessive use of neomycin topical can lead to contact dermatitis, which is an inflammation of the skin. Signs of contact dermatitis may include redness, swelling, itching, or the formation of blisters at the application site.
  • Sensitization: Long-term use of neomycin can potentially lead to sensitization, where the body develops an allergic response to the medication. This can make future use of neomycin or other related antibiotics problematic.

It’s important to consult your healthcare provider if you experience any bothersome or persistent side effects while using neomycin topical. They can evaluate your specific situation and determine the appropriate course of action. If you have a known allergy to neomycin or other aminoglycoside antibiotics, it’s crucial to inform your healthcare provider before using neomycin topical to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?


  • Store neomycin topical at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and moisture.
  • Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
  • Follow any specific storage instructions provided by the medication’s label or your healthcare provider.


  • Properly dispose of any expired or unused neomycin topical.
  • Check with your local guidelines or regulations regarding the disposal of medication. Do not dispose of it in household trash or flush it down the toilet unless instructed to do so.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of emergency or accidental ingestion of neomycin topical, contact your local emergency services or poison control center immediately.
  • If possible, provide them with information such as the amount ingested, time of ingestion, and any symptoms experienced.

What other information should I know?

  • Neomycin topical is intended for external use only. It should not be taken orally or applied to the eyes, nose, mouth, or any mucous membranes.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about any other medications, supplements, or topical products you are using to avoid potential interactions.
  • Neomycin may cause skin sensitivity to sunlight, so it is advisable to avoid excessive sun exposure or use appropriate sun protection measures while using the medication.
  • Follow the prescribed dosage and duration of treatment as instructed by your healthcare provider. Do not exceed the recommended dose.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or worsen after using neomycin topical, consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance.

As always, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for specific instructions and any additional information about the proper storage, disposal, and handling of neomycin topical, as well as for any concerns or questions you may have.

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