Health Library

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. The health library is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health.

bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic

Pronunciation: BAS i TRAY sin and POL ee MIX in B off THAL mik

Brand: AK-Poly-Bac, Polycin

What is the most important information I should know about bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic?

Do not use this medicine if you have a viral or fungal infection in your eye. Bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic treats only infections that are caused by bacteria.

What is bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic?

Bacitracin and polymyxin B are antibiotics that kill bacteria.

Bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic (for the eyes) is a combination medicine used to treat bacterial infections of the eyes or eyelids.

Bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to bacitracin or polymyxin B.

Do not use bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic if you have a viral or fungal infection in your eye. This medicine treats only infections that are caused by bacteria.

You should not use bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic to treat any eye infection that has not been checked by your doctor.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions or allergies.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether bacitracin and polymyxin B passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

Bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I use bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Wash your hands before using eye medication.

To apply the ointment:

  • Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the ointment tube with the tip pointing toward this pocket. Look up and away from the tip.
  • Squeeze out a ribbon of ointment into the lower eyelid pocket without touching the tip of the tube to your eye. Blink your eye gently and then keep it closed for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Use a tissue to wipe excess ointment from your eyelashes.
  • After opening your eyes, you may have blurred vision for a short time. Avoid driving or doing anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.

Do not touch the tip of the ointment tube or place it directly on your eye. A contaminated tube tip can infect your eye, which could lead to serious vision problems.

This medicine is usually applied every 3 or 4 hours for up to 10 days. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Keep the tube tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.

What should I avoid while using bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic?

This medicine may cause blurred vision. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be able to see clearly.

Do not use other eye medications unless your doctor tells you to.

What are the possible side effects of bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe itching, redness, or swelling of your eyelids;
  • eye pain, redness, or watering;
  • vision changes, increased sensitivity to light;
  • white patches on your eyes;
  • crusting or drainage from your eyes; or
  • any new signs of infection.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild eye redness or itching; or
  • puffy eyelids.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic?

It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on bacitracin and polymyxin B used in the eyes. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about bacitracin and polymyxin B ophthalmic.


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.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.02. Revision date: 2/3/2018.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read, understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement, which can be accessed by End-User License Agreement, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.