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Nystatin: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Warnings, and Precautions

Published on Nov 17, 2022 and last reviewed on Feb 20, 2023   -  4 min read


Nystatin is an antifungal medication that is commonly employed to treat and prevent a range of fungal and yeast infections. Find out more about its uses, dosing, drug warnings, side effects, precautions, drug interactions, and more.


Nystatin is a commonly prescribed antifungal medication used to treat fungal or yeast infections. It is available as oral tablets, oral suspension (liquid), topical cream, topical powder, and topical ointment. Nystatin exhibits its action by killing the infection-causing fungus. Do not take this drug if you have a previous history of allergy or hypersensitivity to Nystatin or any other components of the medication. In case of skin rash or yellowing of skin or white eyes, report to the doctor immediately.

Drug Group:

Nystatin belongs to the class of drugs called polyenes. The drugs of this class kill the infection-causing fungus by forming pores in their cell membrane. The other medications in the polyene class include Amphotericin B, Trichomycin, Candicidin, and Pimaricin.

What Is Nystatin Used For?

Nystatin is widely used to treat and prevent fungal or yeast infections caused by the Candida species of fungus. It includes

  • Candidal vulvovaginitis (infection in the vagina or vulva caused by Candida fungus)

  • Candidiasis of the skin (skin infection caused by Candida fungus).

  • Gastrointestinal candidiasis (infections in the stomach or intestine caused by Candida fungus).

  • Oropharyngeal candidiasis (infection in the mouth or throat caused by Candida fungus)

How Does Nystatin Work?

Nystatin works by binding to a sterol called ergosterol present in the sensitive fungus's cell membrane. This binding will induce the membrane to form pores or channels, which will lead to the leaking of the cell components, which are crucial for the survival of the fungus. Thus, it will ultimately lead to the death of the fungus.

Onset of Action:

Nystatin is not absorbed (reaches the blood circulation) when taken orally or applied topically. It is eliminated through feces in its unchanged form. The onset of action of Nystatin is 24 to 72 hours.


There are no reported habit-forming tendencies reported in individuals taking Nystatin.

Expiry Date:

Avoid taking this medicine after it expires. The expiry date will be provided on the back of the packet.

What Is the Dosage of Nystatin?

The dosing will depend upon the infection's severity and the medication response. Inform the doctor if any side effects are experienced and follow the instructions provided by the healthcare professional carefully.

Nystatin is available in the following doses and dosage forms:

  • Oral Suspension: 100000 U/(units)/1 ml.

  • Oral Tablet: 500000 U.

  • Topical Cream: 100000 U/1 gm.

  • Topical Ointment: 100000 U/1gm.

  • Topical Powder: 100000 U/1 gm.

The recommended dosing of Nystatin for various conditions is as follows:


How to Use Nystatin?

Oral Suspension: Shake well before use and protect from freezing.

Cream or Ointment: Apply liberally on the affected area.

Powder: For foot infections, dust the powder on the feet, as well as on footwear.

General Information:

  • The duration of the therapy will be based on the kind and severity of the infection.

  • Enquire the physician or pharmacist to explain instructions on the prescription label and carefully follow them.

  • Use the medication as prescribed. Never take it in larger or fewer amounts or more frequently than directed by the doctor.

  • During the first few days of therapy, the symptoms of the disease may subside. Alert the healthcare provider if the symptoms do not disappear or worsen.

  • Keep taking Nystatin until the doctor instructs the patient to stop.

Missed Dose:

If a dose is missed while taking Nystatin, take it as soon as possible. But if the time for the next dose is near, do not take two tablets together, as it might result in severe adverse reactions. Just skip the missed dose and take the next dosage.


In case of overdose and usual symptoms arise, seek medical help or contact the nearest poison control center immediately.

What Are the Contraindications of Nystatin?

Nystatin is contraindicated (usage strictly to be avoided) if there is a history of allergy to the medication or its components.

What Are the Drug Warnings and Precautions?

It is important to seek advice from the doctor if any of the following conditions are present, before taking Nystatin:

  1. Hypersensitivity: Inform the doctor if the patient has previously experienced an allergy or hypersensitivity to Nystatin or other polyene medications.

  2. Diabetes: Nystatin contains sugar. It can increase blood sugar levels. Monitoring may be required.

  3. Dental Wears: Keep the denture wears clean and maintain them while on therapy.

  4. Pregnancy: Nystatin may harm the fetus if administered during pregnancy. Therefore, if the patient is in the first three months of the pregnancy or intends to get pregnant, inform the physician to know if the patient is expecting.

  5. Breastfeeding: Talk to the physician before starting the therapy if you are breastfeeding.

What Are the Side Effects of Nystatin?

The common side effects while using this medication include

  • Skin rash.

  • Irritation in the mouth.

  • Stomach ache.

These effects can disappear in a few days. Consult the doctor or pharmacist if they are more severe or persistent.

The more serious side effects include

  • Muscle pain.

  • Wheezing.

  • Increased heart rate.

Seek medical help right away if any of these serious side effects are experienced.

Also, in case of symptoms of hypersensitivity (hives, extreme rash, breathing difficulty, and mouth or tongue swelling), get medical attention immediately.

What Are the Interactions of Nystatin?

The information on interactions with Nystatin is listed below:

  1. With Other Drugs: There are no reported interactions of Nystatin with other medications in the available dosage forms.

  2. With Alcohol: Drinking alcohol has not been shown to affect the action of Nystatin negatively.

  3. With Food: There are no specific dietary restrictions while on Nystatin therapy.

What Are the Common Brand Names or Trade Names of Nystatin?

The common brands of Nystatin available in the market are:

  • Mycostatin cream.

  • Mycostatin ointment.

  • Nyaderm cream.

  • Nyaderm ointment.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Onset of Action of Nystatin?

After application, it may take up to two days for Nystatin to work. The drug should, however, be continued for another two days to prevent the fungal infection from returning and causing a relapse of the condition.


What Effect Does Nystatin Have on the Tongue?

Nystatin helps to stop the fungal infection present in the tongue. It is effective in preventing fungal infection and stops the growth of fungus in the mouth. Nystatin suspension is used to kill the Candida fungus and treats the infection caused in the mouth.


Does Nystatin Cream Work for Eyes?

No, Nystatin cream is effective to treat yeast-like infections that occur on the skin and cannot be used to treat fungal infections occurring in the eyes, mouth, or throat. The cream cannot be used intravaginally and is not recommended for systemic use.


Does Nystatin Act Like Antibiotics?

Nystatin belongs to a group of drugs called antifungals and is not an antibiotic. Antifungals cannot be used to treat infections caused by bacteria or viruses. They act on the fungi and kill them.


Can Nystatin Be Swallowed?

Oral administration of the whole of Nystatin should be avoided. The tablet should not be chewed but must dissolve in the mouth for at least 15 minutes. Ingesting Nystatin cream can irritate the stomach, nausea and vomiting, and loose stools.


Which Groups of People Must Avoid Taking Nystatin?

The use of Nystatin is contraindicated for people who are hypersensitive or have had an allergic reaction to the drug or any of its components. The drug may cause symptoms, such as skin rash, itching, hives, and swelling in the tongue, throat, lips, or face in people who are allergic to it. Nystatin lozenges must be avoided in infants and children below five years.


Does Nystatin Belong to Steroid Class?

Nystatin comes in the class of antifungal medication. The drug can be used in combination with steroids or anti-inflammatory medicine to treat certain infections caused by fungi (yeast) on the skin.


Does Nystatin Harm the Liver?

Oral Nystatin can cause mild liver injury, especially in older adults and vulnerable groups. However, topical Nystatin is largely used to treat skin fungal and is not absorbed orally, thus cannot be linked to liver damage.


How Does the Use of Nystatin Affect Immunity?

Treatment with Nystatin can cause an imbalance in the flora in the gut and may damage the adrenal glands. However, it improves the defense against C. Albicans by regulating cellular response and enhances IgG-mediated immunity.


What Makes Nystatin Toxic?

Nystatin is a topical antifungal and can cause harm if swallowed accidentally. The drug can bind to mammalian sterols, like cholesterol, and increases the level of the drug in the serum leading to nephrotoxicity (rapid deterioration in kidney function).


What Drugs Are Similar to Nystatin?

Acidophilus pills are available over-the-counter that help to kill the fungi. The other topical antifungals include Clotrimazole lozenges, Fluconazole, or gentian violet which may be used in place of Nystatin.


Is Nystatin Available Over-The-Counter?

No, Nystatin can be available only with a doctor’s prescription. The drug is available in combination with steroids, antiseptics, or antibacterials that may be bought from the pharmacy.


Can Nystatin Be Used for Long-Term?

Nystatin can be used for a week or until the infection is cleared. The ointment or the cream should not be used for longer than seven days or longer than recommended by the doctor, as it can increase the chance of side effects.


Is Nystatin Stronger Than Other Antifungals?

Many antifungals, such as Ketoconazole are better tolerated than Nystatin. These drugs cause fewer side effects and are more effective than Nystatin in reducing fungal infections.


Is Nystatin Effective as an Anti-inflammatory?

Nystatin is an antifungal medicine that also has potent anti-inflammatory properties and reduces irritation, inflammation, and pain caused by fungal infections.

Last reviewed at:
20 Feb 2023  -  4 min read




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