bacitracin zinc structure
Bacitracin Zinc Chemical Structure
Bacitracin Structure
Bacitracin Chemical Structure

Bacitracin Zinc vs Bacitracin

Bacitracin and zinc bacitracin are two common antibiotics used for small cuts and wound infections.

Bacitracin zinc can be used by combining with other topical antibiotics (usually Polymyxin B sulfate and Neomycin) as an ointment (well-known as Pfizer’s Neosporin).

What Is Bacitracin Zinc Used for?

Bacitracin Zinc is used for the topical treatment of a variety of localized skin infections, as well as for the prevention of wound infections.

It is also indicated for Empyema, Infection NOS, Pneumonia, Corticosteroid-responsive Dermatosis, Infection in minor cuts, scrapes, or burns, Inflammatory ocular disease, etc (Made into cortisporin ophthalmic ointment).

Its ointments are used as first aid to prevent infections in minor cuts, scrapes, or burns.

People are using its formulations for acne when acne pimples are infected.

People would combine its ointment with cleansers containing benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria that might colonize an injured pimple.

However, the method above does not always cure acne.

Some people reported no improvement or even worse outbreaks after applying it.

There are ophthalmic solutions of non-ointment forms for eye infections.

There are also Ophthalmic Ointments with Polymyxin B Sulfate indicated for the treatment of superficial infections of the external eye and its adnexa caused by susceptible bacteria.

All in all, zinc bacitracin is used in many dosages to prevent infections in small or shallow wounds.

What Is Bacitracin Used For?

Bacitracin is used for manufacturing human medicines as a polypeptide antibiotic against infections.

Please note, that bacitracin should only be used to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria.

Bacitracin is primarily made into ointments as it can cause kidney damage when it is taken orally.

It has been indicated in topical formulations for acute and chronic localized skin infections.

Bacitracin is also used intramuscularly for infantile streptococcal pneumonia and empyema.

It is also formulated as an ointment with neomycin and polymyxin B as OTC.

Its ointment formulated with neomycin and polymyxin B along with hydrocortisone is indicated for the treatment of corticosteroid-responsive dermatoses with secondary infection.

People also use it as an aftercare antibiotic for tattoos and circumcision.

Bacitracin is preferred over combination products such as Neosporin because of its fewer ingredients, which lowers the chances of an allergic reaction.

Although its allergic cross-reaction with sulfa drugs has been occasionally reported, bacitracin-containing topical preparations are a great alternative to silver sulfadiazine (Silvadene) for patients burnt with a sulfa allergy.

In the biochemical industry, researchers would use it to distinguish Streptococcus pyogenes from other “strep” bacteria, with S. pyogenes being sensitive to bacitracin and others resistant.

It is also used to detect Haemophilus influenza colonies amongst respiratory flora.

Because H. influenza is intrinsically resistant to it, colonies would form within the zone of inhibition.

Bacitracin zinc and bacitracin are produced in the same way but processed differently to get different products.

Zinc within bacitracin makes the complex even more stable.

Below we have listed the main differences between the two.

#1. Stability

As we mentioned above, zinc salt makes the peptide bacitracin more stable when exposed to air and moisture.

Though they have the same shelf life of three years when properly stored and sealed in our certificate of analysis, it will be another case when the package is broken.

Because bacitracin is very easy to absorb moisture and decompose, when the highest bacitracin concentration is reached in the fermentation process, we add zinc salt directly to the culture solution to get a more stable zinc complex, namely zinc bacitracin.

Bacitracin zinc is widely used in the feeding industry because of its inherent characteristics and is currently the most used antibiotic feed additive.

Compared with bacitracin, the stability of bacitracin zinc is extremely superior.

In a dry state, its potency can be kept at room temperature for 3 years without any change, even in acidic, alkaline, or hot environments, its stability is also better.

According to reports, when bacitracin zinc is stored for 24 months at a temperature of 40°C, its potency is only lost by 10%.

However, bacitracin in feces begins to decompose at room temperature in 3 to 6 days, and it decomposes in compost even faster

#2. Market demand and usage range

Market demand for bacitracin zinc is much bigger than for bacitracin.

On the one hand, bacitracin zinc is used in more ointments and aerosol sprays than bacitracin.

Take famous brands such as Neosporin and Polysporin for example, they both contain bacitracin zinc and polymyxin b sulfate, but Neosporin contains the extra third ingredient neomycin sulfate.

Only a very small portion of the people who are allergic to neomycin sulfate would have to choose ointments containing bacitracin only.

On the other hand, bacitracin zinc is also widely used poultry feed industry and the quantity is way bigger than its use in the pharmaceutical industry, not to mention the quantity of bacitracin.

#3. Market Prices

Due to a bigger production quantity, the cost of bacitracin zinc is brought to a lower level than the bacitracin cost.

You can also check its price below with bacitracin price on our bacitracin page for your comparison.

You can see that pharm-grade Bacitracin zinc price is around 600usd/kg, while bacitracin price is around 700usd/kg.

Not to mention bacitracin zinc used in the food and poultry industry, the price is even lower.

#3.1 How Much Does Bacitracin Zinc Powder Cost? (2022 Updated)

The price for commercial order quantities over 100kg is about 600 USD/KG (60IU/MG).

For the cost in tons, the price is around 550 USD per KG.

In the year 2021, the price of pharma-grade zinc bacitracin has dropped to 530 USD per kilo due to increasing demand and larger production capacity.

Feed-grade powder price is about 300 USD/KG. (40IU/MG)

The 15% premix price is about 3 USD/KG, 2 USD/KG for 10% type for commercial order quantities.

For more accurate prices, please contact us directly.

Please check the export prices from PharmaCompass for your ref below:

bacitracin zinc export prices from pharmacompass

As you can see from the import and export prices from PharmaCompass, the highest unit price is 1005 USD/kg for 2kg imported from Nepal from India, which is plausible when you add in all the shipping costs by air.

You can also see the main-stream prices by 534 USD/kg with an import quantity of over 8 tons.

Our Indian friends always negotiate a better offer with their huge buying quantities.

Also, we composed a price trend from 2012 to now for your reference as below.

bacitracin zinc price trends from 2012 to 2020

The price trends above show a drop in the cost.

It makes sense when the demand quantities have increased and the cost is getting down little by little.

From the highest over 800usd per kg to currently 550usd per kg.

Please note, this price is only suitable for commercial order quantities over hundreds of kilos.

If you only buy hundreds of grams, the unit price will be higher.

You can contact us anytime for its latest price.

#3.2 How Much Does Bulk Bacitracin Powder Cost?

For commercial order quantities, the price of bacitracin API Powder is about 750usd/kg as Fob Shanghai/Beijing. 

If you only need several kilos of non-sterile powder for your pharmacy compounding or lab research, our price is around 1100usd/kg for your ref.

In case you need it by 10kg for pilot manufacturing of ointments, our offer is about 950USD/KG.

Because the cost of bulk powder is subject to its raw material fluctuations, please contact us directly for the latest price update.

To conclude:

Bacitracin zinc is more stable than bacitracin with similar production costs.

Due to the larger market demand and wider usage of bacitracin zinc, its price is slightly lower, with bacitracin at 950USD/KG, and bacitracin zinc at 550USD/KG for quantities over 100KG.

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