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Why is this medication prescribed?
Neomycin, an antibiotic, is used to prevent or treat skin infections caused by bacteria. It is not effective against fungal or viral infections.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Neomycin comes in cream and ointment that is applied to the skin. Neomycin usually is used one to three times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use neomycin exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Thoroughly clean the infected area, allow it to dry, and then gently rub the medication in until most of it disappears. Use just enough medication to cover the affected area. You should wash your hands after applying the medication.
Do not apply neomycin to a child’s diaper area, especially if the skin is raw, unless directed to do so by a doctor. If you are directed to apply neomycin to a child’s diaper area, do not use tightly fitting diapers or plastic pants. They can increase the absorption of the drug, which can cause harmful effects.
Apply only small amounts of neomycin to scrapes, cuts, burns, sores, and wounds, and do not apply it more frequently than directed. Neomycin can be absorbed into the body through broken skin and cause kidney problems and hearing difficulty.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using neomycin,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to neomycin or any other drugs.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using neomycin, call your doctor.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue 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 may cause side effects. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- Hearing difficulty
- Decreased urination
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Neomycin may become discolored, but this change does not affect its action.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Neomycin is for external use only. Do not let neomycin get into your eyes, nose, or mouth, and do not swallow it. Do not apply dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the area being treated unless your doctor tells you.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the neomycin, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised – 06/15/2017