Drugs A - Z

Retapamulin Topical ointment

It is used on the skin to treat an infection known as impetigo

Generic Name: retapamulin topical  |  Brand Name: Altabax

Brand Names: Altabax

What is this medicine?

RETAPAMULIN (RE te PAM ue lin) is an antibiotic. It is used on the skin to treat an infection known as impetigo.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to retapamulin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for external use only. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Wash your hands before and after use. Apply a small amount to the affected area and rub gently. Cover the area with a gauze dressing if you want to. Do not get this medicine in your eyes. If you do, rinse out with plenty of cool tap water. Do not use your medicine more often than directed. Finish the full course of medicine prescribed by your doctor or health care professional even if you think your condition is better.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 9 months old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Interactions are not expected. Do not use any other skin products on the affected area without telling your doctor or health care professional.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. The infection should start to heal in 3 to 4 days.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • skin blistering, burning, oozing, stinging, or pain

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • skin irritation

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


Last Updated: August 17, 2009
Licensed from
The Healthline Site, its content, such as text, graphics, images, search results, HealthMaps, Trust Marks, and other material contained on the Healthline Site ("Content"), its services, and any information or material posted on the Healthline Site by third parties are provided for informational purposes only. None of the foregoing is a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Healthline Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Please read the Terms of Service for more information regarding use of the Healthline Site.
Advertisement