Fucidin cream/ointment (Fusidic acid)

How does it work?

Fucidin cream contains the active ingredient fusidic acid, which is an antibacterial agent used to treat a number of bacterial skin infections. Fucidin ointment contains sodium fusidate, which is the sodium salt of fusidic acid. Fusidic acid is a type of medicine called an antibiotic.

Fusidic acid works by preventing bacteria from producing proteins that are essential to them. Without these proteins the bacteria cannot grow, replicate and increase in numbers. Fusidic acid doesn’t directly kill the bacteria, but leaves them unable to increase in numbers. The remaining bacteria eventually die or are destroyed by the immune system. This treats the infection.

Fusidic acid is used primarily to treat infections caused by staphylococcal bacteria.

What is it used for?

Fucidin cream and ointment are used to treat skin infections caused by staphylococcal bacteria, including those that are resistant to penicillin antibiotics. These may include the following:

  • Impetigo.
  • Infected hair follicles (folliculitis).
  • Skin infection around the nails (paronychia).
  • Infected eczema.
  • Infected wounds.

How do I use it?

  • Wash your hands before applying the medicine.
  • The cream or ointment should be applied gently to the infected area three or four times a day, as directed by your doctor.
  • If your doctor has told you to cover the area with a dressing you may not need to apply the cream or ointment as frequently. Again, follow the instructions given by your doctor.
  • Wash your hands after applying the medicine unless the hands are the area being treated.
  • Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, it is important that you finish the prescribed course of this antibiotic medicine, even if it seems the infection has cleared up. Stopping the course early increases the chance that the infection will come back and that the bacteria will grow resistant to the antibiotic.


  • Fucidin cream and ointment are for external use on the skin only.
  • Avoid getting the cream or ointment in contact with the eyes. If it gets in the eyes they should be thoroughly rinsed with plenty of water.
  • If your infection does not seem to be getting better, is getting worse, or comes back you should consult your doctor. It is important that you don't use this medicine for longer than is prescribed, or for repeated infections unless instructed to by your doctor. This is because prolonged or repeated use of antibacterial medicines can cause the skin to become sensitised and may result in the bacteria developing resistance to the medicine.

Not to be used in

  • People who are allergic to fusidic acid or sodium fusidate.
  • Infections caused by bacteria that are not susceptible to this antibiotic, in particular infections with pseudomonas aeruginosa.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • There is no information available about the safety of this medicine during pregnancy. As the medicine can be absorbed through the skin it should be used with caution during pregnancy, and only if the potential benefits outweigh any potential risk to the developing baby. Ask your doctor for further advice.
  • Fusidic acid may pass into breast milk in small amounts, but the amount absorbed through the skin is unlikely to have any harmful effect on a nursing infant. If the medicine is to be applied on or near the breasts it should be thoroughly washed off before giving a feed. Ask your doctor for further advice.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Pain, stinging, burning or redness on application.
  • Skin rashes.
  • Contact dermatitis.
  • Itching.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

This medicine is not known to affect other medicines. However, if you are using any other creams, ointments or lotions on the same area of skin you should not apply them at the same time as Fucidin, because they could dilute the Fucidin and make it less effective at treating the infection. Always leave about 30 minutes between applying different products to the same area of skin to give them time to be absorbed.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

Fucidin suspension Fucidin tablets Fucithalmic eye drops
Sodium fusidate intravenous infusion