MSD Manual

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Brian J. Werth

, PharmD, University of Washington School of Pharmacy

Last full review/revision May 2020| Content last modified May 2020
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Mupirocin inhibits bacterial RNA and protein synthesis. It is available only as a 2% topical preparation, which is bactericidal against staphylococci and beta-hemolytic streptococci. Systemic absorption of topical mupirocin is negligible.

Mupirocin is used for

  • Minor superficial secondarily infected skin lesions

  • Eradication of Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage, although relapse rates may be high

Chronic therapy leads to mupirocin-resistant staphylococci.

Mupirocin is nontoxic but, when applied to denuded skin or mucous membranes, may cause itching and burning.

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