Fusidic acid

Fusidic acid

Fusidic acid is a medicine that belongs to the antibiotic family. Antibiotics are used to kill bacteria and reduce or cure the symptoms of bacterial infections. Fusidic acid comes in many different forms, including a cream which can be applied to treat issues like impetigo. More information

A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.

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Patient Leaflet(s)

Fusidic acid is a type of antibiotic often available in drop or cream form. The drop form is called fucithalmic and is helpful for killing bacteria in the eye, the cream form is useful to treat small skin infections on the body, it is important not to confuse the two products and certainly not to apply the cream in the eyes. 

What is Fusidic acid? 

Fusidic acid is a medicine that belongs to the antibiotic family. Antibiotics are used to kill bacteria and reduce or cure the symptoms of bacterial infections. Fusidic acid comes in many different forms, including a cream which can be applied to treat issues like impetigo. 

The liquid version of Fusidic acid comes in an eye drop, which can be applied directly to the eye to cure various eye-based infections.  

Fusidic acid kills the bacteria that causes irritation and discomfort in the eye, and can help to get rid of various symptoms, including inflammation, redness, blurry vision and pain. Fusidic acid eye drops are are often recommended after an examination to treat conjunctivitis. 

Fusidic acid can clear infections quickly and effectively, however it works best when the infection only covers a very small area. If the infection is wide-spread, then you might need antibiotic tablets instead.  

If you are experiencing problems with inflammation as well as the initial infection, then you might need to use Fusidic acid as part of a combination treatment. This means that you will use your drops along with other anti-inflammatory agents to reduce your symptoms. 

When is Fusidic acid used? 

Fusidic acid can be used for a number of skin infections caused by bacteria. In cream form, Fusidic acid will be given to address problems like infected grazes and cuts, and infected issues of dermatitis. You can also get a prescription for Fusidic acid cream for impetigo.  

Alternatively, Fusidic acid eye drops are commonly given for a bacterial eye infection called bacterial conjunctivitis. If you have this condition, then the entire membrane covering the white of your eye may be infected and inflamed. The symptoms of this condition vary, but often include problems with tearing or eye watering, irritation, and eye soreness. You may also have some discharge from your eye that needs to be cleaned before you apply your drops.  

Fusidic acid is an antibiotic that works well in small areas, particularly when it comes to issues like infected hair follicles, infections around the nails, cellulitis and other conditions. Your consultant will provide you with information on why you have been given Fusidic acid for your condition.  

Common uses of Fusidic acid include: 

  • Eye infections and conjunctivitis; 
  • Skin and hair infections; 
  • Infections of cuts and grazes; 
  • Infections caused by dermatitis. 

How do you use Fusidic acid? 

Whenever you begin using a new medication, including eye drops like Fusidic acid, it is important to pay close attention to the information and advice provided by your consultant or doctor. Remember that your Fusidic acid will come with a manufacturers leaflet filled with printed information about how to use Fusidic acid effectively. This leaflet will give you more information about how you can use the ointment, cream, or drops that you have been given. You will be able to use this leaflet to find out more about the side effects that are possible with Fusidic acid too.  

When applying Fusidic acid it is important to follow the instructions given carefully. This may mean dabbing your eye (while closed) with some water and cleaning away any puss from around the infected area before you can apply the drops. It’s also important to wash your hands before you begin using them to help you apply your drops. You may need to use your fingers to keep your eye open, and it’s important not to get any extra dirt into the eye.  

Tilt your head back after opening the bottle of Fusidic acid drops, and gently pull out the lower lid of your eye so the liquid has somewhere to go. Release one drop of liquid into your affected eye. Close your eye for a minute, and press on your nose, where your eye meets your nose. This will stop the drop from draining away too quickly.  

Wash your hands after you have finished applying the Fusidic acid, and do not apply any contact lenses while you are having treatment. Only use Fusidic acid for as long as your doctor or consultant instructs you to do so. Using Fusidic acid for longer than necessary can increase your chances of side effects. Do not use a larger number of drops than suggested by your consultant, as this can also make your chances of side effects worse. 

What dosages are there? 

Fusidic acid drops are prescribed in specific dosages depending on a number of things. Your consultant will suggest a dose based on your condition and your history of treating similar conditions. The most common dosage for Fusidic acid drops is one drop applied to the infected eye twice each day. You should not apply any more medication than this. 

Fusidic acid will begin to make an improvement to your eye within a few days of treatment if you are using the medication correctly and have the right dosage. If you think that the treatment is not working after a few days have passed, you should speak to your doctor. Some infections can be resistant to specific antibiotics, which means that alternative treatments may be necessary.  

Crucially, you should not stop using Fusidic acid or any other form of antibiotic before your full course is completed. Even if your eye begins to look and feel better, do not stop treatment until you are finished the course. Stopping an antibiotic treatment early increases your chances of the infection returning, or you becoming resistant to the antibiotic. 

What are the side effects of Fusidic acid? 

Fusidic acid is a very well tolerated form of antibiotic which comes with very few side effects. However, it is important to make sure that you are aware of the possible issues that could occur when you begin taking this medication. Reading through the side effects provided here and in your patient leaflet will help you to prepare for any issues that you might encounter.  

Fusidic acid side effects are most likely to happen straight after you apply this medication. General discomfort when you apply the drops to your eye is normal, particularly if you’re not used to having a substance in your eye. You may also find that you tear up. Temporary discomfort should pass soon after you have applied the ointment.  

Fusidic acid may also cause slight blurred vision after it is initially applied. Common side effects include: 

  • Tearing or watery eyes; 
  • Difficulty seeing or blurry vision; 
  • Discomfort or stinging at the site of application; 
  • Slight burning sensation. 

It is rare to experience a severe allergic reaction after taking Fusidic acid. Most people will respond well to this medication without any negative side effects. However, you should contact a doctor or emergency health provider as soon as possible if you notice any signs that you might be having an allergic reactions Signs of an allergic reaction might include swelling, difficulty breathing and a rash around your eye.  

When shouldn’t you use Fusidic acid? 

Although many people can take Fusidic acid without any severe problems, it will not be suitable for all patients. Fusidic acid is best suited for treating small infections in adults. However, some doctors and consultants will be able to give Fusidic acid to children depending on their history. It is important to make sure that you answer any questions provided by your consultant carefully and accurately to ensure that this treatment is right for you. 

Let your consultant know in advance if you are allergic to Fusidic acid or sodium fusidate before you begin taking this medication. You should also tell your consultant about any other allergies that you may have. Fusidic acid can include inactive ingredients which also cause allergic reactions.  

Fusidic acid should not be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without speaking to a doctor.  

Does Product name interact with other medications? 

It is not known at this time whether Fusidic acid eye drops have any significant interactions with other medications. However, it is important to make sure that you are not applying other eye-based medications or drops too soon after using this medications.  

Using other ointments at the same time as Fusidic acid could dilute the medication and make it less likely to work. If you need to use other medications with this substance, ask your consultant how long you should wait between applications. Usually, you will need to give it about 30 minutes. 

Where can you buy Fusidic acid? 

As with all antibiotics, taking these will be advised if a doctor deems them necessary following a face to face consultation. Using any antibiotics for reasons that they are not intended for can be dangerous and increase your chances of that antibiotic not working when you need ithem. 

Can I get Fusidic acid without a prescription? 

Fusidic acid is not currently available without a prescription. Like most antibiotics, you will need a full consultation before using this substance. If you complete a consultation, we can get a prescription to a local pharmacy for you within 3 working days. 

Sources 

Wilkinson JD, Department of Dermatology, Amersham General Hospital, UK, “Fusidic acid in dermatology.” [Accessed 18th of December 2019], Available on: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9990411  

NHS, online, 2019, “Fusidic acid”, [Accessed 18th of December 2019], Available on: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/fusidic-acid/ 

Medicines.org.uk, 2019, online, “Fusidic acid 20mg/g” cream” [Accessed 18th of December 2019], Available on: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/3364/smpc 

BNF, Nice, 2019, online, “Fusidic acid” [Accessed 18th of December 2019], Available on: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/fusidic-acid.html 

Assessed by:

Dr Imran Malik, General practitioner
Registration number: GMC: 4741365

Dr Imran Malik studied undergraduate medicine at King's College University in Central London and clinical studies at the prestigious King's College Hospital. He graduated with a MBBS degree in 2000 and went on to gain postgraduate memberships with the Royal Society of Medicine and also General Practice in 2006.