Health Guide

Colistin/neomycin/hydrocortisone (Into the ear)

Colistin (koe-LIS-tin), Hydrocortisone (hye-droe-KOR-ti-sone), Neomycin (nee-oh-MYE-sin), Thonzonium Bromide (thon-ZOE-nee-um BROE-mide)

Treats swelling, discomfort, and itching caused by ear infections.

Brand Name(s):

Coly-Mycin S, Cortisporin TC

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients, thimerosal, or similar antibiotics such as gentamicin or tobramycin. You should not use if you have a herpes infection, vaccinia (cowpox), or chickenpox.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use and how often.
  • You should not use this medicine for more than 10 days (unless your doctor tells you differently).
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Clean and dry the opening of your ear with a Q-Tip®.
  • Warm the drops by holding the unopened bottle in your hands for a few minutes.
  • Shake the bottle well before using.
  • Avoid touching the dropper to your ear or to anything else.
  • Lie down or tilt your head to the side. Gently pull the earlobe down and back (for children) or up and back (for adults) to straighten the ear canal.
  • Drop the prescribed number of drops into the ear.
  • Keep the ear tilted up for a few minutes or insert a cotton ball into your ear.
  • Wash your hands afterward to avoid spreading the infection.

If a dose is missed:

  • Use the missed dose as soon as you remember.
  • If almost time for the next dose, wait until then to use your medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • You should not use two doses at the same time.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Check with your doctor before using this medicine if you have a punctured eardrum or any other ear problems.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before using this medicine.
  • If your symptoms do not improve after 7 days or become worse, call your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Skin rash, redness, swelling, or intense itching that were not present before using this medicine

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Stinging or burning in the ear

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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