Health Guide

Neomycin/polymyxin B/hydrocortisone (Into the ear)

Hydrocortisone (hye-droe-KOR-ti-sone), Neomycin (nee-oh-MYE-sin), Polymyxin B (pol-ee-MIX-in B)

Treats infections of the ear canal and helps provide relief from redness, irritation, and discomfort of certain ear problems. This medicine is a combination of an antibiotic and a corticosteroid.

Brand Name(s):


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 neomycin, polymyxin B, or hydrocortisone, or if you have an infection that is caused by a virus (such as herpes simplex or chickenpox).

How to Use This Medicine:

Liquid, Drop

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Use this medicine only in your ear. Do not swallow the medicine, and do not put it in your eyes.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine. Your doctor may tell you to clean out and dry your outer ear canal with a special sterile cotton applicator before using the ear drops. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
  • Shake the suspension ear drops well just before each use.
  • Remove the cap. Do not let the tip of the dropper touch anything, including your ear.
  • Lie down or tilt your head to the side. For a child, gently pull the child's earlobe down and back to straighten the child's ear canal. For an adult, gently pull the earlobe up and back to straighten the ear canal.
  • Drop the prescribed number of drops into the ear. Keep the ear tilted up for a few minutes or put a cotton ball into your ear.
  • You may be able to use a special cotton wick that is soaked with the medicine in your ear. If you need to use a wick, your doctor will tell you how to use it, and how long to keep it in your ear.
  • Do not rinse the dropper.
  • This medicine should not be used for more than 10 days.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Keep the bottle closed when you are not using it. Store it at room temperature, away from light and heat. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have a punctured eardrum or any other ear problems.
  • The solution form of this medicine contains potassium metabisulfite. Tell your doctor if you have a sulfite allergy before you start using this medicine.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • If your symptoms do not improve after 7 days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Change in hearing, ringing in the ears, or feeling of fullness in the ears.
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Severe dizziness or loss of balance.
  • Skin rash, redness, swelling, or intense itching in or around the ear.

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

  • Mild stinging, burning, or discomfort 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: 1/4/2018
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