||It has been suggested that Polysporin be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since February 2013.|
|Licence data||US FDA:|
|Legal status||OTC (US)|
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Neosporin (from Neo, (Greek) new + Sporos, (Greek) seed) is the product branding and formulas now owned by Johnson & Johnson of an over-the-counter topical antibiotic ointment created under Warner-Lambert Consumer Healthcare, now a part of Pfizer.
Neosporin is marketed for the prevention and fighting of infections and speeding the healing of wounds. However, there is little data supporting these claims, and in clinical trials, Neosporin is not more effective than simple petroleum jelly (see Efficacy, below).
There is also significant concern that use of Neosporin contributes to the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In the US, the only large market for Neosporin, the ointment has been shown to promote the prevalence of MRSA bacteria, specifically the highly lethal ST8:USA300 strain.
The original ointment contains three different antibiotics: bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B, in a relatively low molecular weight patented base of cocoa butter, cottonseed oil, sodium pyruvate, tocopheryl acetate, and petroleum jelly.
The generic name for these products, regardless of the base, is "Triple Antibiotic Ointment". In China, this product is called "Complex Polymyxin B Ointment," which is manufactured by Zhejiang Reachall Pharmaceutical. The product was also marketed by The Upjohn Company under the name "Mycitracin", until 1997 when that name was acquired by Johnson & Johnson.
A "Plus" variant of the ointment exists that adds the analgesic pramoxine, but uses the cheap, simple, long-lasting, but heavier petroleum jelly base that is common to many OTC topicals. The latest version of this, a high-absorption cream, removes the bacitracin which is unstable in such a base, but keeps the analgesic.
Numerous trials show little evidence that covering a small wound with Neosporin provides any benefit greater than that of simple petroleum jelly, yet commonly causes contact dermatitis while contributing to antibiotic resistance.
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- Trookman, NS; Rizer, RL; Weber, T (2011). "Treatment of minor wounds from dermatologic procedures: A comparison of three topical wound care ointments using a laser wound model". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 64 (3 Suppl): S8–15. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2010.11.011. PMID 21247665.