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Home / Drugs / Starting with M / Mupirocin

Mupirocin (pseudomonic acid A, or Bactroban or Centany) is an antibiotic originally isolated from Pseudomonas fluorescens. It is used topically, and is primarily effective against Gram-positive bacteria. Mupirocin is bacteriostatic at low concentrations and bactericidal at high concentrations. Mupirocin has a unique mechanism of action, which is selective binding to bacterial isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase, which halts the incorporation of isoleucine into bacterial proteins. Because this mechanism of action is not shared with any other antibiotic, mupirocin has few problems of antibiotic cross-resistance.
Bactroban Nasal
CategoriesAnti-Bacterial Agents
Protein Synthesis Inhibitors
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Pseudomonic acid


For the treatment of Staphylococci nasal carriers.


Mupirocin, an antibiotic produced from Pseudomonas fluorescens, is structurally unrelated to any other topical or systemic antibiotics. Mupirocin is used to treat infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus and beta-hemolytic streptococci including Streptococcus pyogenes. This antibiotic has little, if any, potential for cross-resistance with other antibiotics.

mechanism of action

Mupirocin reversibly binds to bacterial isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase, an enzyme which promotes the conversion of isoleucine and tRNA to isoleucyl-tRNA. Prevention of this enzymes from functioning properly results in the inhibition of bacterial protein and RNA synthesis.


Hepatic. Following intravenous or oral administration, mupirocin is rapidly metabolized. The principal metabolite is monic acid, which has no antibacterial activity.


No measurable systemic absorption

half life

20 to 40 minutes

route of elimination

Following the application of Centany (mupirocin ointment),2% to a 400 cm2 area on the back of 23 healthy volunteers once daily for 7 days, the mean (range) cumulative urinary excretion of monic acid over 24 hrs following the last administration was 1.25% (0.2% to 3.0%) of the administered dose of mupirocin.