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By Hans P. Schlecht, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine
Christopher Bruno, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine

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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 β-hemolytic streptococci. Systemic absorption of topical mupirocin is negligible.

Mupirocin is used for

  • Impetigo (see Impetigo and Ecthyma)

  • 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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