Neomycin/polymyxin B/hydrocortisone

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Neomycin/polymyxin B/hydrocortisone
Combination of
Polymyxin BAntibiotic
Trade namesOtosporin, Cortisporin, others
Clinical data
Routes of
Ear drop, ear drop
Defined daily dosenot established[2]
External links
AHFS/Drugs.comFDA Professional Drug Information
Legal status

Neomycin/polymyxin B/hydrocortisone, sold under the brand Otosporin among others, is a medication used to treat otitis externa (swimmer's ear) and certain eye disorders.[3][4] It consists of the antibiotics neomycin and polymyxin B, and the steroid hydrocortisone.[4] It is used as an ear drop or eye drop.[3][4]

The most common side effects include itchiness and a skin rash.[5] Other side effects may include dizziness, hives, anaphylaxis, hearing loss, and headache.[3][5] Safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding is unclear.[1] The antibiotics work by killing specific types of bacteria while the steroids work by decreasing inflammation.[6]

The combination was approved for medical use in the United States in 1964.[4] In the United Kingdom a 10 ml bottle costs the NHS about £7.45 as of 2019.[3] In the United States the wholesale cost of this amount is about US$50.[7] In 2017, it was the 304th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than one million prescriptions.[8]

Medical uses


The defined daily dose is not established[2]


Cortisporin was developed by Glaxo Wellcome and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1975. In 1997, the rights were sold to Monarch Pharmaceuticals, a division of King Pharmaceuticals. In 2007, King sold it to JHP Pharmaceuticals. Par Pharmaceutical acquired JHP in 2014. In 2015, Endo International purchased Par.[9]

Society and culture


In David Lazarus' February 4, 2016 LA Times column, a pharmacist recalled a 10 milliliter vial of the drug selling for around $10 in the early 2010s. In 2015, the price was $100, and in 2016, it reportedly was selling for $195. A generic version is priced at $144.[9] The drug is owned by Dublin, Ireland-based Endo International.


Generic name: neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B sulfate, and hydrocortisone
Dosage form: otic suspension (liquid with ear dropper)
Generic name: neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B sulfate, bacitracin zinc and hydrocortisone
Dosage form: Dermatological ointment, drops


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Hydrocortisone / neomycin / polymyxin b otic Use During Pregnancy". Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "WHOCC - ATC/DDD Index". Archived from the original on 1 July 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 British national formulary : BNF 76 (76 ed.). Pharmaceutical Press. 2018. p. 1164. ISBN 9780857113382.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Neomycin, Polymyxin B, Hydrocortisone Ophthalmic Suspension - FDA prescribing information, side effects and uses". Archived from the original on 20 June 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Hydrocortisone/neomycin/polymyxin b otic Side Effects in Detail". Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  6. "DailyMed - neomycin sulfate, polymyxin b sulfate and hydrocortisone solution". Archived from the original on 26 June 2020. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  7. "NADAC as of 2019-02-27". Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Archived from the original on 2019-03-06. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  8. "Neomycin; Polymyxin B; Hydrocortisone - Drug Usage Statistics". ClinCalc. Archived from the original on 12 April 2020. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lazarus, David (2016-02-04). "Martin Shkreli isn't alone in ripping off patients with crazy drug prices". Archived from the original on 2019-12-30. Retrieved 2016-02-05.

External links