Neomycin (Topical)


Neomycin can be sold under the following brand name;

  • Myciguent®

Neomycin topical preparations work by affecting bacteria's production of particular proteins which are necessary for the survival. It makes the bacteria to produce faulty and abnormal proteins. In the process, the bacteria is killed hence clearing up the infection.

The medicine is applied to the affected skin to treat the infections that are caused by bacteria. Therefore, using this medication directly to the infected area allows the neomycin to act on the bacteria which are causing that infection directly.

Neomycin topical preparation comes in ointment and cream form that is applied to the skin, and it's used one to three times per day. Use the medicine as it is prescribed on the label carefully. Ask your pharmacist or doctor to clarify any directions that you don't understand

Before using neomycin topical, ensure you clean your infected area and allow it to dry. Gently rub the medicine to the already dried infected area until most of it disappears. Only use just enough medication that will cover the affected area. After applying this drug, the treated area can be wrapped with a gauze dressing if you choose to. Always wash your hands after using neomycin cream or ointment.

If you want to heal the infection completely, continue using neomycin medication for the full time of treatment according to the prescribed label. Do not stop using this medicine even if your symptoms disappear. Also, never miss any of your doses.

If neomycin gets into your eyes, immediately rinse with water. Avoid using neomycin topical on broken or in an open wound. If you are not sure of how to use this medication, you may contact your doctor for advice.

The medication can also be used for treating corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses with secondary infection, and prophylaxis of skin infection in minor injuries. Neomycin should not be taken with a patient who suffers from hypersensitivity. Be cautioned that neomycin is prone to a high rate of allergic contact sensitivity.

Conditions Treated

  • Bacterial skin infections
  • Skin Inflammation

Type Of Medicine

  • Aminoglycoside antibiotic

Side Effects

Apart from the benefits of neomycin topical, it may also pose some risks. Although not every side effect mentioned here can occur, but if they do, they can need medical attention;

Side effects of this medication may include;

  • Rash
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Hypopigmentation
  • Redness
  • Severe skin irritation
  • Hypertrichosis
  • Skin inflammation
  • Toxicity to the organs of hearing
  • Striae
  • Skin sensitization
  • Folliculitis
  • Dryness
  • Acneiform eruptions
  • Perioral dermatitis
  • Secondary infection
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Skin atrophy
  • Maceration of the skin
  • Miliaria

The most significant disadvantage of using neomycin is related to its relatively high ability to cause allergic contact sensitivity reactions. Th risk of this reaction increases with the prolonged use of the medicine.

Other potential risks are not included in this list that may occur in some patients. If you witness any unusual side effects, seek medical attention. You may consult with your healthcare professional for advice on side effects. Also, you may report the unwanted side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


The dosage forms of Neomycin are;

  • Cream
  • Ointment

The medication should be applied to the affected area of the skin one to three times per day for both adults and children.

The dose of neomycin can be different for different patients. You must follow the directions on the label since this information includes the average dose of this medication. Do not try to change your dose if it is different unless your doctor asks you to do so.

The amount of neomycin that you use will depend on its strength. The medical issue for which you are using this medicine will determine the number of doses you will use per day, the time that' will be allocated between doses and the length of time.

If you forget to apply your dose, use it as soon as you think of it. But if it's close enough to your next dose, skip the missed dose and go on with your usual dosing schedule. Never double dose in this case.

An overdose of neomycin is not expected to cause life-threatening symptoms. But the long-term use of such high steroid doses may lead to symptoms such as;

  • Thinning of the skin
  • Impotence
  • Changes in the location or shape of body fat (i.e., in your face, back, neck, and waist)
  • Easy bruising
  • Increase in facial hair or acne
  • Loss of interest in sex.
  • Menstrual issues

If a person has overdosed and he/she experiences severe symptoms such as troubled breathing or passing out, call 911. Also, you may call the poison control center right away.


Medicines are known to interact with each other. Therefore, specific medications cannot be used together at all. Although in some cases two kinds of medicines can be used together even if there is a possibility for interaction. In these cases, the doctor will either have to change your dose or take other necessary precautions. Therefore, be sure to inform your doctor about any other prescription or non-prescription medications that you are using, before using this medicine. Do this to ensure the combination is safe.

You can be at high risk of any hearing loss or balance problems if you use neomycin in combination with the following medications;

  • Capreomycin
  • Teicoplanin
  • Cisplatin
  • Vancomycin.
  • Loop diuretics, eg, etacrynic acid, and furosemide

You can be at high risk of kidney problems if you use neomycin in combination with the following medications;

  • Amphotericin
  • Cisplatin
  • Capreomycin
  • Ciclosporin
  • Cephalosporin antibiotics such as cephaloridine
  • Colistin
  • Polymixin
  • Teicoplanin
  • Tacrolimus
  • Vancomycin.

The decision to use this medication should be based on the more significant advantage the medicine has than the risks it can pose to a patient. The choice is upon you and your doctor. Therefore, take precaution when using neomycin topical preparations on people with allergies, children, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and older adults/seniors. Though there may be no severe contraindications, but first consult with your doctor if you are on this list.


Neomycin topical preparations are for use only on the external skin, and they should not be consumed orally.

If this cream is applied to extensive areas of your skin or open wounds, it can get absorbed into your bloodstream. It may, therefore, lead to interactions with side effects such as balance problems, hearing loss or kidney problems.

Avoid applying cosmetics, lotions, bandages, other skin medications or covering of the treated place with dressings unless advised by your doctor. It's because airtight dressing may increase the absorption of the medicine to your body or increase the risk of sensitization reactions.

Even if your infection clears up, it's important to finish the prescribed course of the antibiotic medicine unless your pharmacist tells you otherwise. Stopping the course early may increase the chances of the infection recurring, and the bacteria may grow resistant to the medication. Do not use the antibiotic medicine for longer than it has been prescribed by your doctor.

If you suspect you have a new infection, or if your symptoms worsen during the treatment, seek medical attention immediately. Also, talk to your doctor if the skin condition does not improve in one week or if you still have got symptoms of the infection after you finish the medicine.

Don't apply neomycin on to your child's diaper area, particularly if the skin is raw unless you have been directed by a healthcare professional to do so. In that case, do not use the plastic pants or tightly fitting diapers since they can increase absorption of the medicine hence causing unwanted effects.

Never use neomycin topical preparations in the eyes, mouth, nose. Avoid sharing your prescribed course of neomycin with anyone else. Ask your doctor about any questions concerning refilling your prescription.

Keep all the appointments with your doctor. Ensure you write down a list of every prescription and nonprescription medicines that you are using, including products such as minerals, vitamins, or any other dietary supplements. Bring this list to the doctor with you every time you visit or if you get admitted to a hospital. It serves as essential information for you to carry in cases of emergency.


Store neomycin medicine in the original container it came in, tightly closed. It should always be kept at room temperature and away from direct light or sunlight, away from excess moisture, and heat. Do not freeze this medicine. The medicine may become discolored, but that doesn't affect its action.

The antibiotic medicine should be kept out of sight and reach of pets and children to avoid possible poisoning, interaction and unwanted effects. Tightly lock the safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location.

Never keep outdated medicine or any medicine that is no longer needed. Unneeded medications must be disposed of carefully to ensure other people, pets and children can't consume them. Don't flush your drugs down the toilet or pour them down a drain. The best way to dispose of unneeded medication is via a take-back program. You can either talk to your doctor or call the local garbage/recycling department to know more about take-back programs in your community.


Neomycin topical preparations are available in the form of cream and ointment, which are used to treat the external infections of the skin. The medication is also used to treat other conditions as determined by a doctor. Use this medicine as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label to avoid any health problems. Contraindications of neomycin include hypersensitivity. To treat your skin infections entirely and avoid any risks, use neomycin to the full course as prescribed by your doctor.