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All about: Altabax

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Generic Name: retapamulin topical (re TAP a MUE lin)
Brand Names: Altabax

What is retapamulin topical?

Retapamulin is a topical (applied to the skin) antibiotic that fights bacteria on the skin.

Retapamulin topical is used to treat an infection called impetigo (im-pe-TYE-go). Impetigo usually affects the nose, lips, or other areas of the face, but it may also affect other areas of the body.

Retapamulin may be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about retapamulin topical?

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

If you miss a dose, use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled time to use the medication. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

There may be other drugs that can affect retapamulin topical. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Stop using this medication and get emergency medical help if you think you have used too much medicine, or if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Less serious side effects are more likely, and you may have none at all. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or is especially bothersome.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using retapamulin topical?

Before using retapamulin topical, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether retapamulin topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not use this medication on a child younger than 9 months old.

How should I use retapamulin topical?

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the instructions on your prescription label.

Apply a thin layer of retapamulin topical twice daily for at least 5 days, and longer if your doctor instructs you to. You may cover the treated skin areas with a bandage or clean gauze after applying the medicine.

Wash your hands after applying this medicine, or after touching your skin lesions for any other reason. The bacteria that causes impetigo can infect any skin area that comes into contact with your lesions.

Use retapamulin topical only for the skin condition it was prescribed for. This medication will not be effective in treating many other types of skin infections. Do not share the medication with anyone, even if they have the same symptoms. Each member of the household should be seen by a doctor if they start to show symptoms of impetigo.

Use retapamulin topical for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Store retapamulin topical at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medication as soon as you remember the missed dose. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and use the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of retapamulin topical applied to the skin is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.

What should I avoid while using retapamulin topical?

Impetigo is highly contagious and spreads easily from person to person. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, washcloths, or razors with other people if you are infected with impetigo. Use a clean towel and washcloth each time you bathe to keep from reinfecting your own skin.

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes or mouth, or inside your nose. Do not place retapamulin into your vagina or rectum. If the medicine does get into any of these areas, wash with water.

Do not use other medicated skin products unless your doctor has told you to.

Retapamulin topical side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if retapamulin causes severe irritation of your skin. Wipe off the medication and do not apply more until talking with your doctor.

Less serious side effects are more likely, such as:

  • mild pain, redness, itching, or irritation where the medicine is applied;

  • headache; or

  • diarrhea.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect retapamulin topical?

Before using retapamulin, tell your doctor if you are also taking an antifungal antibiotic called ketoconazole (Nizoral). You may not be able to use retapamulin topical, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs that can affect retapamulin topical. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about retapamulin topical written for health professionals that you may read.

  • 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 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 08/15/2007 2:43:11 PM.

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