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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Neomycin, Polymyxin B, and ...
Neomycin, Polymyxin B, and Hydrocortisone
Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

(nee oh MYE sin, pol i MIKS in bee, & hye droe KOR ti sone)

Brand Names
AK-Spore® H.C. Otic Solution; AK-Spore® H.C. Otic Suspension; AntibiOtic® Otic; Cortatrigen® Otic; Cortisporin® Ophthalmic Suspension; Cortisporin® Otic; Cortisporin® Topical Cream; Octicair® Otic; Otic-Care® Otic; Otocort® Otic; Otosporin® Otic; PediOtic® Otic; UAD Otic®

Therapeutic Categories
Antibiotic/Corticosteroid, Ophthalmic; Antibiotic/Corticosteroid, Otic; Topical Skin Product

What is this medicine used for?

  • Neomycin and polymixin are antibiotics used to treat a variety of bacterial infections.
  • Hydrocortisone is used to reduce redness, irritation, swelling, and itching.
  • The eye drops are used in steroid-responsive inflammatory eye conditions in which hydrocortisone is indicated and where bacterial infection or a risk of bacterial infection exists.
  • The ear solution is used for the treatment of bacterial infections of the external ear canal.
  • The ear suspension is used for infections of mastoidectomy and fenestration cavities.
  • The skin cream is used to help prevent infections in minor cuts, scrapes, burns, and to treat itching, swelling, or irritation.

How does it work?

  • Neomycin inhibits metabolic activities in the bacteria.
  • Polymixin makes some of the manufacturing cells in the bacteria leaky.
  • Hydrocortisone prevents/reduces irritation and swelling.

How is it best taken?

  • Use entire prescription as directed, even if feeling better.
  • Skin:
    • Do not take by mouth. For skin only. Keep out of mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
    • Wash your hands before and after use.
    • Clean affected area before use.
    • Use in a small amount over the area affected as a light film. Rub in gently.
    • Do not put coverings (bandages, dressings, make-up) over the area unless told to do so by healthcare provider.
  • Eye:
    • For the eye only.
    • Shake well first.
    • Take out soft contact lenses before using medicine. Lenses can be replaced 15 minutes after medicine is given.
    • Do not touch the bottle or tube tip to the eye, lid, or other skin.
    • Tilt head back and drop medicine into eye.
    • After using medicine keep your eyes closed. Apply pressure to the inside corner of the eye. Do this for 3-5 minutes. This keeps medicine in the eye.
    • Separate each eye medicine by 5 minutes. Give one and wait 5 minutes before using the next.
  • Ear:
    • For the ear only. Shake suspension well first.
    • Wash hands before and after applying.
    • Lie on side with affected ear up.
    • For adults, hold the ear lobe up and back.
    • For children, hold ear down and back.
    • Instill drops in ear without touching dropper to ear. Stay on side for 2 minutes or insert cotton plug into ear.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Apply a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not apply a double dose or extra doses.

What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.

What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Skin and Ear:
    • Burning, itching, redness, dryness.
  • Eye:
    • Bright lights may be irritating. Keep sunglasses with you.
    • Blurred vision. Use caution when driving, or doing tasks that need clear vision.
    • Stinging after putting drops in eye.

What should I monitor?

  • Follow up with healthcare provider.

Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Any rash.
  • No improvement in condition or feeling worse.

How should I store this medicine?

  • Store at room temperature.

General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).

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