Neomycin is an antibiotic drug to treat bacterial infections of the outer ear (otitis externa), skin or eyes. This medication is available as eye drops, ear drops, ointment, cream, or gel.

Neomycin belongs to the class of aminoglycoside antibiotics, which work by stopping the growth of bacteria that cause infection. Keep in mind, this drug cannot be used to treat infections caused by viruses or fungi.

Neomycin trademarks: Celefa, Cordema, Enbatic, Erladerm-N, Gentason-N, Liposin, Mycenta, Nelydex, Neosinol

What is Neomycin

class Prescription drug
Category Aminoglycoside antibiotics
Benefit Overcome bacterial infections in the skin, eyes or ears
Used by Adults and children >1 year old
Neomycin for pregnant and lactating women


Category D: There is positive evidence of risk to the human fetus, but the benefits may outweigh the risks, for example in dealing with a life-threatening situation.

It is not yet known whether neomycin can be absorbed into breast milk or not. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.

Drug form Eye drops, ear drops, ointments, creams and gels

Warning Before Using Neomycin

There are several things that you should pay attention to before using neomycin, including:

  • Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have. Neomycin should not be used in patients who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, myasthenia gravis , vertigo, tinnitus , deafness, Parkinson's disease , colitis, intestinal obstruction , or liver disease .
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products.
  • See a doctor immediately if you have a drug allergic reaction or serious side effects after using neomycin.

Dosage and Rules for Use Neomycin

Neomycin should only be used according to a doctor's prescription. Neomycin is often found in combination with other antibiotics, such as polymyxin . Here are common doses of neomycin based on their intended use:

  • Purpose: Overcoming skin infections
    Apply sufficient amount of neomycin ointment, cream, or gel to the infected skin area, 1–3 times a day.
  • Purpose: Overcome eye infections
    Drop drugs containing neomycin 1-2 times in the infected eye, 6 times a day.
  • Purpose: Overcoming otitis externa
    Drop a drug containing neomycin in the ear that has been cleaned and dried, 3–4 times a day. If symptoms do not improve after 7 days of treatment, see a doctor immediately.

How to Use Neomycin Properly

Follow the doctor 's recommendations and read the information printed on the drug packaging before using neomycin. Do not increase or decrease your dose without consulting your doctor first.

If you are using neomycin in the form of an ointment, cream, or gel, make sure the infected skin area is clean and dry. Apply the drug thinly and evenly. Do not cover or wrap the area that has just been smeared with neomycin with a bandage, except as directed by your doctor.

Wash your hands with soap and running water after using this medicine. If used on the hands, wait at least 30 minutes before washing it off.

Neomycin should not be applied to diaper-covered areas. If you are directed to apply neomycin to the area, do not use tight diapers or pants, as this can increase the absorption of the drug which can cause side effects.

If you are using neomycin in the form of eye or ear drops, clean the eye or ear area to be treated first, then dry it. Drop the medicine according to the doctor's recommended dose and the instructions on the package.

If you want to use it on injured skin, just apply enough medicine. The absorption of this drug will increase when applied to broken skin and can cause systemic effects (throughout the body). If the drug is used excessively, the risk of side effects will increase.

Store neomycin at room temperature and avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Keep out of reach of children.

Interactions of Neomycin with Other Drugs

Using neomycin with amikacin, tobramycin, amphotericin B , cisplatin, polymyxin B, or bacitracin may increase the risk of side effects on the kidneys or nervous system.

Neomycin Side Effects and Dangers

If used according to the doctor's instructions and the directions for use listed on the package, neomycin rarely causes side effects. However, there are some side effects that may occur after using neomycin ointment, cream or gel, namely:

  • Burning feeling on the skin
  • Reddened skin
  • A rash appears on the skin
  • Skin irritation

Check with your doctor if the complaints mentioned above do not go away or get worse. If absorbed throughout the body (systemic), neomycin can also cause hearing loss or kidney problems. Immediately to the doctor if you experience tinnitus , infrequent urination, or drug allergic reactions after using neomycin.

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