What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.

Altabax (Retapamulin)

Also Known as Altargo


Altabax (Retapamulin)

Prescription Required


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  • Product Details


    Altabax is a prescription ointment that can be used by patients nine months and older. It is available with a prescription from a health provider. Altabax is a topical medication applied to the skin for the treatment of impetigo due to Staphylococcus aureus. Your doctor may need to test the skin to determine if the infection is due to this type of bacteria.

    Impetigo is a bacterial infection that is more common in children and is sometimes referred to as school sores. The primary symptom is red sores around the face and mouth that may rupture and form a yellowish-brown crust.

    Altabax is an antibacterial agent that prevents infective bacteria from forming critical proteins that help the bacteria grow.


    The usual directions are to apply a thin layer to the affected area twice daily for five days.

    The area may be covered with sterile gauze or a bandage if needed.

    Altabax should be applied to a clean and dry area of the skin and give the medication enough time to absorb into the skin without washing it off. Wash hands after application.


    The active ingredient in Altabax ointment is 10 mg of retapamulin per 1 gram of ointment.


    Common drug-drug interactions with Altabax may include:

    • Atazanavir
    • Ceritinib
    • Clarithromycin
    • Cobicistat
    • Darunavir
    • Idelalisib
    • Indinavir
    • Itraconazole
    • Ketoconazole
    • Lonafarnib
    • Lopinavir
    • Mifepristone
    • Nefazodone
    • Nelfinavir
    • Ombitasvir-paritaprevir-ritonavir
    • Posaconazole
    • Ritonavir
    • Saquinavir
    • Telithromycin
    • Tucatinib
    • Voriconazole


    Altabax is only for use on the skin and should not be used in the eyes, nose, mouth, or genitals.

    Stop taking Altabax if you experience severe irritation.

    Side Effects

    Common adverse reactions include:

    • Angioedema
    • Application site burning
    • Application site irritation
    • Application site pain
    • Application site pruritus
    • Contact dermatitis
    • Diarrhea
    • Eczema
    • Epistaxis
    • Erythema
    • Headache
    • Hypersensitivity reaction
    • Increased creatinine phosphokinase
    • Nasopharyngitis
    • Nausea


    Altabax [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline; 2012.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

    Product Code : 12816

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