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BACITRACIN: Mechanism of Action, Indications, uses, Administration, Side Effects

Bacitracin is an antibiotic medication that is commonly used topically for the prevention and treatment of bacterial infections. It is primarily effective against gram-positive bacteria. Here's a detailed explanation of bacitracin, including its chemical formula, mechanism of action, indications, uses, administration, and side effects.

Chemical Formula:

The chemical formula of bacitracin is C66H103N17O16S. It is a mixture of cyclic polypeptides composed of multiple amino acids, including L-aspartic acid, D-threonine, D-alanine, D-glutamic acid, L-serine, and others.

Mechanism of Action:

  • Bacitracin works by interfering with bacterial cell wall synthesis.

  • It specifically inhibits the dephosphorylation of the lipid carrier molecule called bactoprenol, which is crucial for the transportation of peptidoglycan precursors across the bacterial cell membrane.

  • By blocking this process, bacitracin prevents the synthesis and assembly of the bacterial cell wall, leading to cell death.

Indications and Uses:

Bacitracin is primarily indicated for topical use in the prevention and treatment of bacterial infections. It is commonly used in the following situations:

  1. Skin Infections: Bacitracin can be applied topically to prevent and treat minor skin infections, including cuts, scrapes, burns, and other wounds.

  2. Eye Infections: Bacitracin ophthalmic ointment or solution may be used for the treatment of certain eye infections, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) or blepharitis (eyelid inflammation).

  3. Superficial Skin Infections: It can be utilized for the management of superficial skin infections caused by susceptible bacteria, including impetigo, folliculitis, and infected eczema.


  • Bacitracin is typically administered topically as an ointment or cream.

  • It is applied directly to the affected area of the skin or eyes, following proper cleaning and drying.

  • The specific dosage and frequency of application depend on the severity of the infection and the healthcare provider's instructions.

  • For eye infections, bacitracin ophthalmic ointment or solution is instilled into the conjunctival sac of the affected eye(s) as directed by a healthcare professional.

Side Effects:

  • When used topically, bacitracin is generally well-tolerated. However, some individuals may experience mild side effects. Common side effects include skin irritation, itching, redness, or a rash at the application site.

  • These side effects are usually temporary and resolve once the medication is discontinued.

  • Allergic reactions to bacitracin are rare but possible. Signs of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

  • If any severe or persistent side effects occur, it is important to seek medical attention.

  • It's important to note that the information provided here is a general overview, and the specific instructions, precautions, and potential side effects of bacitracin may vary.

  • It is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional or refer to the product's prescribing information for detailed and accurate information specific to the medication.


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