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Generic Name: retapamulin topical (RE te PAM ue lin)
Brand Names: Altabax
Altabax (retapamulin) is used to treat a skin infection called impetigo. Includes Altabax side effects, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Altabax (retapamulin) is an antibiotic that fights bacteria on the skin. Altabax Ointment is used to treat an infection called impetigo (im-pe-TYE-go). Impetigo usually affects the nose, lips, or other areas of the face, but it may also affect other areas of the body. Altabax Ointment is for use in adults and infants aged 9 months and older. Do not use Altabax to treat any skin condition that has not been checked by your doctor. Do not share Altabax with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have. Impetigo is highly contagious and spreads easily from person to person. Each member of the household should be seen by a doctor if they start to show symptoms of impetigo. Stop using Altabax and call your doctor at once if you have severe burning, itching, redness, swelling, blistering, oozing, or other skin irritation where the medicine was applied. Learn more

Altabax Side Effects

Altabax Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about retapamulin topical. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Altabax.

For the Consumer

Applies to retapamulin topical: topical application ointment

Along with its needed effects, retapamulin topical (the active ingredient contained in Altabax) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking retapamulin topical:

Less common

  • Burning, itching, redness, skin rash, swelling, or soreness at site
  • skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing


  • Blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, flaking of skin
  • flushing, redness of skin
  • itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, swelling of skin
  • pain at site of application
  • unusually warm skin

Some side effects of retapamulin topical may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common

  • Diarrhea
  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • nausea
  • sore throat
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to retapamulin topical: topical ointment


Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus, eczema

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Erythema, contact dermatitis, impetigo, excoriation


Common (1% to 10%): Application site irritation, application site pruritus, application site pain

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Application site erythema

Postmarketing reports: Application site burning sensation


Postmarketing reports: Hypersensitivity events including angioedema


Common (1% to 10%): Pyrexia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased creatinine phosphokinase


Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea, nausea

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abdominal discomfort


Common (1% to 10%): Nasopharyngitis

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Altabax