There has recently been a flurry of comments being posted about lymphedema patients using neosporin as a topical antibiotic medicine. Indeed, one website even put out a page advising patients not to use it at all because of a possible allergy to it.
While it is a fact that apparently 20% of the population is allergic to it. In all the panic, however, I would like to offer what I feel is a more common sense approach to this.
January 18, 2010
As of this update of Jan 19, 2012, I have heard of no further problems with Neosporin. I am still not understanding what the big fuss was/is. Clinically speaking, no more people are allergic to this ointment then others.
Neosporin OPHTHALMIC OINTMENT (neomycin and polymyxin B sulfates and bacitracin zinc ophthalmic ointment) is a sterile antimicrobial ointment for ophthalmic use. Each gram contains: neomycin sulfate equivalent to 3.5 mg neomycin base, polymyxin B sulfate equivalent to 10,000 polymyxin B units, bacitracin zinc equivalent to 400 bacitracin units, and white petrolatum, q.s.
Neomycin sulfate is the sulfate salt of neomycin B and C, which are produced by the growth of Streptomyces fradiae Waksman (Fam. Streptomycetaceae). It has a potency equivalent of not less than 600 µg of neomycin standard per mg, calculated on an anhydrous basis.
A wide range of antibacterial action is provided by the overlapping spectra of neomycin, polymyxin B sulfate, and bacitracin.
Neomycin is bactericidal for many gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. It is an aminoglycoside antibiotic which inhibits protein synthesis by binding with ribosomal RNA and causing misreading of the bacterial genetic code.
Polymyxin B is bactericidal for a variety of gram-negative organisms. It increases the permeability of the bacterial cell membrane by interacting with the phospholipid components of the membrane.
Bacitracin is bactericidal for a variety of gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. It interferes with bacterial cell wall synthesis by inhibition of the regeneration of phospholipid receptors involved in peptidoglycan synthesis.
Microbiology: Neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B sulfate, and bacitracin zinc together are considered active against the following microorganisms: Staphylococcus aureus, streptococci including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella/Enterobacter species, Neisseria species, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The product does not provide adequate coverage against Serratia marcescens.
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