Newborn Medication

Parenting in the Early Years

Newborn Medication

Related Topics



Internet Resources

AAP Recommended Immunization Schedule (pdf)

As part of Meriter Birthing Center's Newborn Admission, every infant routinely receives the following medications:

  • Vitamin K
  • Erythromycin Opthalmic Ointment.

We understand that you may have several questions about these medications. You are encouraged to read the following medication descriptions. If you still have questions after reading the descriptions, ask your nurse or pediatrician.

Vitamin K
(Phytonadione 1 MG/0.5 ML)

Vitamin K is needed in the production of blood clotting factors, which protects the newborn from bleeding tendencies. Newborn infants, especially those born prematurely lack stores of Vitamin K, which is stored in their liver. Therefore, newborns benefit from a supplemental dose of Vitamin K as a measure of initial protection. Vitamin K is given by injection to the newborn's left or right thigh.

Erythromycin Ophthalmic Ointment

Erythromycin ophthalmic ointment is an antibacterial agent that is applied to the left and right eye of the newborn within the first hour after delivery. Erythromycin ointment protects the newborn from bacteria that may be present in a mother's birth canal. These bacteria can potentially infect the infant's eyes as it passes through the birth canal, causing eye swelling and discharge. Erythromycin ointment will cause temporary blurring of your infant's eyes until the ointment is absorbed. For this reason the nursing staff usually waits until you have had a period of eye-to-eye contact with your newborn before the ointment is applied.