Fusidic acid

Fusidic acid is an antibiotic – medicines that 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 such as impetigo. The liquid version of fusidic acid comes in an eye drop, which can be applied directly to the eye to cure various eye-related infections.

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, while the cream form is useful to treat small skin infections on the body. It is important not to confuse the two products and you should definitely not apply the cream in the eyes.

What is fusidic acid?

Fusidic acid is an antibiotic – medicines that 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 such as impetigo. The liquid version of fusidic acid comes in an eye drop, which can be applied directly to the eye to cure various eye-related infections.

Fusidic acid kills the bacteria that cause irritation and discomfort in the eye, and can help to get rid of various symptoms, including inflammation, redness, blurred vision and pain. Fusidic acid eye drops are often recommended after an examination to treat conjunctivitis. While fusidic acid can clear infections quickly and effectively, it works best when the infection only covers a very small area. If the infection is widespread, you may need antibiotic tablets instead. If you are experiencing problems with inflammation as well as the initial infection, you might need to use fusidic acid as part of a combination treatment and take the drops along with other anti-inflammatory agents to reduce the symptoms.

When is fusidic acid used?

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

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 such as 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, fusidic acid eye drops or fusidic acid cream, 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 it effectively. This leaflet will give you more information about how you can use the fusidic acid ointment, fusidic acid cream or fusidic acid drops that you have been given. You will also be able to use this leaflet to find out more about the side effects that are possible with fusidic acid.

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 pus from around the infected area before you can apply the drops. It is also important to wash your hands before you begin to help you apply your drops. You may need to use your fingers to keep your eye open, and it is 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 increase your chances of side effects.

What dosages are there?

Fusidic acid drops are prescribed in specific dosages depending on a number of factors. 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 have finished the course. Stopping an antibiotic treatment early increases your chances of the infection returning, or of your 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.

Side effects are most likely to happen straight after you apply fusidic acid. General discomfort when you apply the drops to your eye is normal, particularly if you are 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 fusidic acid 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 reaction. Signs include swelling, difficulty breathing and a rash around your eye.

When should you not 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 fusidic acid 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 medication.

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

Where can you buy fusidic acid?

As with all antibiotics, taking fusidic acid ointment or fusidic acid eye drops 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 later need them.

Can I get fusidic acid without a prescription?

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


Wilkinson JD, Department of Dermatology, Amersham General Hospital, UK, “Fusidic acid in dermatology.” [Accessed 18 December 2019], Available on:

NHS, online, 2019, “Fusidic acid”, [Accessed 18 December 2019], Available on:, 2019, online, “Fusidic acid 20mg/g” cream” [Accessed 18 December 2019], Available on:

BNF, Nice, 2019, online, “Fusidic acid” [Accessed 18 December 2019], Available on: acid.html

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