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Mupirocin

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

On the skin

Mupirocin topical cream is used to treat secondarily infected traumatic skin lesions due to specific bacteria. Mupirocin topical ointment is used to treat… Read more

Brand names include: Bactroban, Centany

Into the nose

Mupirocin nasal ointment is used to treat or prevent infections in the nose due to certain strains of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This medicine works… Read more

Brand names include: Bactroban

Drug classes About this
Antibacterial, Antibiotic

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Using mupirocin ointment to reduce staphylococcus aureus infection rates in people who are nasal carriers of staphylococcus aureus.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is the main hospital acquired pathogen and although the focus has been on preventing cross‐infection between patients, it has been shown that a large number of S. aureus infections start from the patient's own flora. Nasal carriage of S. aureus is a risk factor for infection in hospital patients and using a local antibiotic treatment of mupirocin ointment is often used to eradicate nasal S.aureus. It has been found that if people are nasal carriers of S. aureus then using mupirocin ointment reduces the level of S aureus infections.

Surgical Site Infection: Prevention and Treatment of Surgical Site Infection

Infections that occur in the wound created by an invasive surgical procedure are generally referred to as surgical site infections (SSIs). SSIs are one of the most important causes of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs). A prevalence survey undertaken in 2006 suggested that approximately 8% of patients in hospital in the UK have an HCAI. SSIs accounted for 14% of these infections and nearly 5% of patients who had undergone a surgical procedure were found to have developed an SSI. However, prevalence studies tend to underestimate SSI because many of these infections occur after the patient has been discharged from hospital.

Interventions for preventing infectious complications in haemodialysis patients with central venous lines

Patients whose kidneys no longer work need to have water, toxins and other chemicals removed from their blood using an artificial kidney. One method of achieving this is to use a central venous catheter (CVC) which is a small tube inserted via the skin into a blood vessel in the neck of the patient. This tube allows blood to go from the patient, pass through an artificial kidney and return back to the patient. This process is referred to as a dialysis session which takes four hours and is usually performed three times a week. As CVC have direct access to the blood system they can cause serious infections which can be life threatening to the patient. Several strategies can be used to prevent these infections occurring including the application of different types of ointments (mupirocin, povidone‐iodine and polysporin) or medicinal honey to the catheter site, and the use of different dressings which cover the catheter site (transparent or gauze and tape). The review of 10 studies (786 patients) found that mupirocin ointment reduced the risk of patients developing catheter‐related bacteraemia (bacteria in the blood). However, monitoring of mupirocin resistance needs to be considered in future studies. There was not enough evidence to determine which ointment (povidone‐iodine and polysporin) or dressing was the best in preventing infection. There was also insufficient evidence to support the use of medicinal honey for the prevention of infection.

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Summaries for consumers

Using mupirocin ointment to reduce staphylococcus aureus infection rates in people who are nasal carriers of staphylococcus aureus.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is the main hospital acquired pathogen and although the focus has been on preventing cross‐infection between patients, it has been shown that a large number of S. aureus infections start from the patient's own flora. Nasal carriage of S. aureus is a risk factor for infection in hospital patients and using a local antibiotic treatment of mupirocin ointment is often used to eradicate nasal S.aureus. It has been found that if people are nasal carriers of S. aureus then using mupirocin ointment reduces the level of S aureus infections.

Interventions for preventing infectious complications in haemodialysis patients with central venous lines

Patients whose kidneys no longer work need to have water, toxins and other chemicals removed from their blood using an artificial kidney. One method of achieving this is to use a central venous catheter (CVC) which is a small tube inserted via the skin into a blood vessel in the neck of the patient. This tube allows blood to go from the patient, pass through an artificial kidney and return back to the patient. This process is referred to as a dialysis session which takes four hours and is usually performed three times a week. As CVC have direct access to the blood system they can cause serious infections which can be life threatening to the patient. Several strategies can be used to prevent these infections occurring including the application of different types of ointments (mupirocin, povidone‐iodine and polysporin) or medicinal honey to the catheter site, and the use of different dressings which cover the catheter site (transparent or gauze and tape). The review of 10 studies (786 patients) found that mupirocin ointment reduced the risk of patients developing catheter‐related bacteraemia (bacteria in the blood). However, monitoring of mupirocin resistance needs to be considered in future studies. There was not enough evidence to determine which ointment (povidone‐iodine and polysporin) or dressing was the best in preventing infection. There was also insufficient evidence to support the use of medicinal honey for the prevention of infection.

Antimicrobial agents for preventing peritonitis in peritoneal dialysis patients

People with kidney failure may be treated with peritoneal dialysis where a catheter is permanently inserted into the peritoneum (lining around abdominal contents) through the abdominal wall and sterile fluid is drained in and out a few times each day. The most common serious complication is infection of the peritoneum, which is called peritonitis. This may be caused by bacteria accidentally being transferred from the catheter.

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