Retapamulin: indications and efficacy

Retapamulin is a relatively new drug that belongs to the family of antibiotics. As discussed below, it is used topically for the treatment of impetigo and secondary infections in small wounds or in decorations.

Although it is active against infections triggered by bacteria S. aureus Y S. pyogenes, Retapamulin is not indicated in the treatment of abscesses or in skin infections by these two bacteria that are resistant to methicillin, or in infections secondary to dermatosis.

Although we will see it more carefully throughout the article, in the clinical trials that have been carried out, the treatment with this antibiotic do not has been shown to have superior efficacy to fusidic acid in patients with impetigo.

In addition, in patients with infections secondary to traumatic injuries, retapamulin Nor has it been shown to be more effective against oral cephalexin..

Thus, against the drugs of choice for these indications, that is, mupirocin, fusidic acid and oral cephalexin, retapamulin treatment does not provide additional advantages neither in efficacy nor in security. Even the cost of this drug is higher.

Retapamulin Indications

As we mentioned, This antibiotic is indicated for infections due to S. aureus Y S. pyogenes. Specifically, it is used topically in superficial skin lesions in adolescents, children and infants from nine months.

Infections for which it is indicated with the following:

  • Impetigo: Impetigo consists of a very contagious common skin infection that primarily affects infants and younger children. Usually, it appears in the form of red sores on the face, especially around the nose and mouth, as well as on the hands and feet.
  • Small infected wounds, Excorations or saturated wounds.

What are the doses, administration guidelines and mechanism of action?

When administering this ointment, a thin layer should be applied on the affected area. This process should be done twice a day for five days. Further, it is usually recommended to cover the wound or injury with a bandage or sterile gauze, in order to favor the action of the antibiotic.

It is important to keep in mind that this antibiotic It is only indicated for cutaneous use. If administered by another route, health problems would occur.

On the other hand, as soon as the mechanism of action, retapamulin, indicated for the short-term treatment of impetigo and small infected, saturated wounds and excorations, owes its effect to its ability to inhibit the synthesis of bacterial proteins in the ribosome. It has not demonstrated specific cross resistance with other classes of antibacterial agents.

Discover: Risks of self-medication

What effectiveness has it been shown?

The effectiveness of the drugs is obtained through clinical trials. In this case there have been two trials in which the efficacy of retapamulin was compared against fusidic acid, cephalexin and placebo.

The objective to study was the clinical cure rate of the infection. The professionals consider that Clinical cure is the resolution or improvement of the infection without the need for another antibiotic. additional.

In another trial, in which 517 patients with impetigo participated, a clinical cure rate of 1% retapamulin similar to that of fusidic acid was demonstrated 2% ointment.

Adverse reactions

The use of this medicine It is not associated with many adverse effects. The most frequent is irritation in the area where the ointment is applied. In addition, both the frequency and types and severity of adverse reactions in the pediatric population are the same as in the adult population.

As we said, the main adverse reaction is irritation. However, others can also develop such as pruritus and erythema in the treated area. Some cases of hypersensitivity reactions and angioedema have also been reported.

Also read: Excess hygiene and antibiotic resistance


The retapamulina It is a semi-synthetic antibiotic indicated for the treatment of impetigo and secondary infections in small wounds or in excorations.

Despite being a safe medication and topically administered, it is not without adverse reactions. Thus, you should always follow the doctor's instructions and not abuse its use or self-medicate.