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Generic name: bacitracin and polymyxin B topical [BAS-i-TRAY-sin-and-POL-ee-MIX-in-B]
Names of brands: Double Antibiotic, Polysporin, and Simply Neosporin
Class of drugs: topical antibiotics

Polysporin First Aid Ointment is a brand name that has been taken off the market across the U.S. If the product is available in generic form and has been approved by the FDA, there may be similar products that are generic.

What is Polysporin?

Polysporin (for the skin) is a mixed medicine used to prevent the spread of infections from scrapes, cuts, or burns. Polysporin is also used for reasons not mentioned in this guideline.

Side effects of Polysporin

Contact a medical professional immediately. If you are experiencing symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction, like hives, trouble breathing, or swelling of your lips, face, and tongue,

You should stop using polysporin and contact your doctor immediately in the event:

  • It is recommended to take this medication for a period of more than one week.
  • The condition continues or becomes worse.
  • An itchy rash or an allergic reaction may occur.

The less serious side effects could be more likely, or there may be no side effects whatsoever. This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Others could happen. Contact your doctor for advice regarding medical effects. You can report symptoms to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Follow the directions on the label and in the package. Make sure you use the product exactly as it is indicated.

Prior to use this drug

You shouldn't use polysporin if you are sensitive to it. Avoid using polysporin around your eyes or on large areas of your body. Consult a physician or pharmacist about whether polysporin is suitable for use if you suffer from:

  • Puncture or deep wounds;
  • Animal bites or
  • severe burns.

Talk to your doctor prior to taking this medication if you are nursing or pregnant. Avoid giving this medication to an infant without medical guidance.

How to take Polysporin?

Follow exactly the instructions on the label or as directed by your doctor. Cleanse your hands prior to and after applying polysporin. Polysporin can be applied to the affected area one to three times a day. Cleanse the area prior to applying the medicine. The area on which the medication is applied could be covered by a sterile bandage. Do not take polysporin for longer than one week unless your doctor has told you to. Keep it at room temperature, far from heat and moisture.

What happens if I miss the dose?

Apply the medicine as fast as you are able, but avoid the dose you missed if it is close to time for the next dose. Don't apply two doses at once.

What happens if I overdose?

For medical emergencies, seek emergency treatment or contact the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222 if you have accidentally swallowed the medication.

What should be avoided?

Beware of other medications that can affect the areas that you treat with polysporin, unless your physician recommends it.

Interaction with other drugs

Skin care products are unlikely to have an effect on other medicines that you are taking, but drugs may interact. Discuss with your doctor the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and products made from herbs.