Bacitracin Ophthalmic : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?
Bacitracin ophthalmic is used to treat bacterial infections of the eye. Bacitracin belongs to a class of medications called antibiotics. It works by killing bacteria that cause infections.

How should this medicine be used?
Bacitracin Ophthalmic comes as an ointment to apply to the eyes. It is usually applied 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 bacitracin eye ointment exactly as directed. Do not use more or less or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

You should expect your symptoms to improve during your treatment. Call your doctor if your symptoms get worse or do not go away, or if you develop other eye problems during your treatment.

Use bacitracin ophthalmic until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop using bacitracin ophthalmic too soon, your infection may not clear up completely and the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics.

To use the eye ointment, follow these steps:

  1. Wash your hands well with soap and water.
  2. Use a mirror or have someone else apply the ointment.
  3. Avoid touching the tip of the tube against your eye or anything else. The ointment must be kept clean.
  4. Tilt your head slightly forward.
  5. Holding the tube between your thumb and forefinger, place the tube as close to your eyelid as possible without touching it.
  6. Rest the remaining fingers of that hand against your cheek or nose.
  7. With the index finger of your other hand, pull down on the lower eyelid to form a pocket.
  8. Put a small amount of ointment in the pocket formed by the lower eyelid and the eye. A strip of 1.25 centimeter (1/2 inch) ointment is usually sufficient unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  9. Look down, then gently close your eyes and keep them closed for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed.
  10. Replace and tighten the lid immediately.
  11. Wipe off any excess ointment from your eyelids and eyelashes with a clean tissue. Don’t rub your eyes, even if your vision is blurry. Wash your hands again.
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If your doctor has told you to use bacitracin ointment to treat an infection on your eyelids, carefully clean your eyelids with water to remove scales and crusts. Then spread a small amount of the ointment evenly over the affected areas of the eyelids.

Other uses for this medicine
Bacitracin Ophthalmic may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using bacitracin eye ointment,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to bacitracin, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in bacitracin eye ointment. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any other eye medications.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using bacitracin eye ointment, call your doctor.
  • You should know that your vision may be blurred for a short period of time after using the eye ointment. Wait until you can see normally before driving or doing other activities that require good vision.
  • Tell your doctor if you wear soft contact lenses. You should not wear contact lenses if you have an eye infection.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply additional ointment to make up for a missed dose.

Bacitracin eye ointment may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • itching, stinging, or burning of the eye

Bacitracin eye ointment may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit an online report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program ( or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in its container, tightly closed and out of the reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to get rid of your medication is through a medication take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local recycling / garbage department to find out about return programs in your community. Consult the FDA’s Safe Drug Disposal website ( for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medications out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those for taking pills weekly and those used for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not resistant to children and children. young children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately put the medicine in a safe place, one that is up and away and out of your sight and reach.

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In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, call 911 immediately.

What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor.

Do not allow anyone to use your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important to keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should carry 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.

Brand names of combination products

  • Cortisporin® (containing Bacitracin Zinc, Hydrocortisone, Neomycin, Polymyxin B Sulfates)
  • Ocu-Cort® (containing Bacitracin Zinc, Hydrocortisone, Neomycin, Polymyxin B Sulfates)

Disclaimer: DrLinex has made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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