backup og meta
Health Screening
Ask Doctor
Table of Content

Nystatin (antifungal agent)

Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Updated Jun 13, 2021

Nystatin is available in various dosage forms that are used to treat specific types of fungal infections. It is available as a syrup used to treat oral candidiasis, oral tablets to treat intestinal candidiasis, topical ointments and powders to treat skin fungal infections, and as a vaginal tablet (pessary) and cream to treat vaginal candidiasis


Know the basics

What is nystatin used for?

This medication is used to treat fungal infections of the mouth (oral candidiasis). Nystatin is an antifungal that works by stopping the growth of fungus.

How should I take nystatin?

Shake well before using, and use the provided medication dropper to carefully measure out the dose. Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, use as follows: Place half of the dose in one side of the mouth. Swish it around the mouth, gargle, and swallow or spit out as directed. Keep the liquid in your mouth for as long as possible. Then repeat with the remaining half of the dose in the other side of the mouth. Avoid eating or drinking for 5-10 minutes after using this medication.

Use this medication 4 times a day or as directed by your doctor. It may take from several days to several months to complete treatment. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same times each day. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.

Continue to use this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished, even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow the infection to continue, resulting in a return of the infection. Expect to use the medication for 48 hours after clinical cure has been achieved.

Inform your doctor if your condition persists after several days of treatment or worsens at any time.

How do I store nystatin?

This product is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer. 

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using nystatin?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe to take nystatin during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There is some evidence that nystatin can cause fetal harm in animal studies, however, there is not enough data in humans. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

This medication is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of nystatin?

Like all drugs, nystatin may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypersensitivity or irritation

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with nystatin?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. 

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Does food or alcohol interact with nystatin?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with nystatin?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Oral Thrush

1 to 2 oral lozenges (200,000 to 400,000 units) 4 to 5 times a day or

500,000 units of oral suspension 4 times a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Intestinal Candidiasis

500,000 to 1,000,000 units orally 3 times a day.

What is the dose for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Oral Thrush

Neonates: 100,000 units of oral suspension 4 times a day.

>1 m <12 m:: 200,000 units of oral suspension 4 times a day.

>=1 year <18 years: 1 to 2 oral lozenges (200,000 to 400,000 units) 4 to 5 times a day or 500,000 units of oral suspension 4 times a day.

How is nystatin available?

Nystatin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Cream 100,000 units/gram
  • Ointment 100,000 units/gram
  • Oral suspension 100,000 units/mL
  • Oral tablet 500,000 units
  • Lozenge (pastille) 200,000 units
  • Vaginal suppository (pessary) 100,000 units

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Written by

Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


Updated Jun 13, 2021

advertisement iconadvertisement

Was this article helpful?

advertisement iconadvertisement
advertisement iconadvertisement