Polymyxin B

How It Works:

Polymyxin B belongs to a group of medication called polypeptide antibiotic. It works by killing the bacteria (gram negative) which causes the infection.

Side Effects:

drooping of the eyelid, Parenteral:Abnormal kidney function, Albuminuria, sensitivity to light or blurred vision, injection site inflammation .Ointment:Uncommon: Inflammation for the surface of the eye, drowsiness, facial flushing, itching or discomfort, swelling or redness or irritation of the eye, dizziness, fever, pain in the eye, rash, feeling increased pressure in the eye, change in the size of the pupil, abnormal sensations in the eye or increased production of tears.Rare: Thinning of the surface of the eye.

Used For:

Polymyxin B is used in treating serious bacterial infections including respiratory infections and infections of the urinary tract. It is also given in combination with neomycin and dexamethasone or in combination with trimethoprim to treat bacterial infections in the eye.


  • The injectable form of this drug is given only to hospitalized patients and under medical supervision.
  • You may get diarrhea after taking the injection. This usually settles as the course id completed. Consult your doctor if the diarrhea persists or worsens.
  • Consult your doctor if you get watery or bloody stools after completing the course.
  • Do not take polymyxin B if you are allergic to polymyxin B or any of the other ingredients of the drops or ointment.
  • Do baseline kidney function test before starting the medicine.
  • Consult your doctor before taking polymyxin B eye ointment/ drops: If you are taking herbal drugs or eye drops. If you are applying any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or steroids. If you wear contact lenses. If you have thinning of the eye tissue. If you have diabetes.
  • Women who are pregnant or breast feeding should consult the doctor on taking this medication.
  • Eye pressure should be regularly checked in patients taking the eye ointment /drops especially in children.
  • Do not drive or use machines immediately after using the drops/ointment  as it may cause blurred vision.
  • If you wear contact lenses, then remove them before applying the drops/ointment  and wear them only after 15 min.

Frequently Ask Questions:

Q. Is polymyxin B an antibiotic/sulpha drug/penicillin?Polymyxin B belongs to a class of medication called antibiotics. It is not a sulpha drug/penicillin.
Q. Is polymyxin B bacteriostatic or bacteriocidal?Polymyxin B is bactericidal i.e. it kills bacteria.
Q. Does Polymyxin B expire?Polymyxin B does expire and should not be used beyond the expiry date.
Q. Does polymyxin B treat pink eye or conjunctivitis? Does it treat sties?Polymyxin B is not used to treat pink eye or conjunctivitis. It is not used for the treatment of sties in the eyes.
Q. Is polymyxin B safe for infants?It is not considered to be safe for infants.
Q. Should polymyxin B be taken by pregnant or breast-feeding women?There are no studies in pregnant or breast feeding women showing safety of this drug. Follow the doctor’s instructions clearly for use of polymyxin B.
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