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Retapamulin 3D sticks.png
Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Trade names Altabax, Altargo
AHFS/ monograph
MedlinePlus a607049
Licence data EMA:Link, US FDA:link
Legal status
Routes Topical (ointment)
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability Low
Protein binding 94%
Metabolism Hepatic, CYP3A4-mediated
Half-life Undetermined
Excretion Undetermined
CAS number 224452-66-8 YesY
ATC code D06AX13
PubChem CID 6918462
DrugBank DB01256
ChemSpider 25064484 N
UNII 4MG6O8991R YesY
KEGG D05720 YesY
Chemical data
Formula C30H47NO4S 
Molecular mass 517.77 g/mol
 N (what is this?)  (verify)

Retapamulin is a topical antibiotic developed by GlaxoSmithKline. It is the first drug in the new class of pleuromutilin antibiotics to be approved for human use. It is marketed as an ointment under the brand names Altabax and Altargo.

Retapamulin was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in April 2007 for the treatment of bacterial skin infections such as impetigo. In May 2007, retapamulin received approval in the EU from the European Medicines Agency for the same indication.

Clinical trials have demonstrated its efficacy against certain Gram-positive bacteria including MRSA.[1]


Retapamulin is indicated for the topical treatment of impetigo due to Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-susceptible only) or Streptococcus pyogenes.[2]


Mechanism of action[edit]

Retapamulin is an antibacterial agent, specifically a protein synthesis inhibitor. The medication selectively inhibits bacterial protein synthesis by interacting at a site on the 50S subunit of the bacterial ribosome through an interaction that differs from other antibiotics.[2]


Systemic exposure following topical application through intact skin is low.[2]


None yet reported.[2]

Adverse reactions[edit]

The most common reported adverse reaction was irritation at the application site.[2]


  1. ^ Jones R, Fritsche T, Sader H, Ross J (2006). "Activity of retapamulin (SB-275833), a novel pleuromutilin, against selected resistant gram-positive cocci". Antimicrob Agents Chemother 50 (7): 2583–6. doi:10.1128/AAC.01432-05. PMC 1489758. PMID 16801451. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Borrza, S., Philippi, E., ed. (2007). Physicians' Desk Reference (7) (62 ed.). pp. 1318–20. ISBN 1-56363-660-3.