Nistatin: Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, and Review

Nistatin is an antifungal medication that contains the active ingredient: nystatin as well as additional substances: lactose, talc, corn starch, calcium stearate, croscarmellose sodium, methylcellulose, hypromellose, titanium dioxide, vanillin, tartrazine, copolividone.

Nistatin is used to treat or prevent infections caused by a fungus (or yeast). These include:

  • oral thrush
  • skin infections

Nistatin kills the fungus and gets rid of the infection. It can also be used to stop you getting an infection. Nistatin is only available on prescription.

How should I use Nistatin?

Nistatin comes as a tablet and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. For the treatment of fungal infections of the lining of the stomach and intestines, Nistatin tablets are usually taken three times a day. For the treatment of fungal infections of the mouth, Nistatin suspension is usually used four times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use Nistatin exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Place half of the dose in each side of the mouth and hold it there as long as possible before swallowing.

Use Nistatin as long as instructed by your doctor, even if you feel better. If you stop using Nistatin too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated.

Nistatin vaginal ovules is usually inserted into the vagina with an applicator. However, if you are pregnant, check with your doctor before using the applicator to insert the vaginal tablet.

To help clear up your infection completely, keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if your condition has improved. Also, keep using this medicine even if you begin to menstruate during the time of treatment. Do not miss any doses.

It also comes as a cream or ointment. Apply Nistatin topical cream, ointment or powder in a quantity sufficient to cover the affected area and immediately surrounding skin 2 to 4 times a day. The powder formulation is useful for the treatment of moist areas or lesions.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Nistatin?

Do not use Nistatin to treat any condition that has not been checked by your doctor.

What are the side effects of Nistatin?

Nistatin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

•          diarrhea

•          nausea

•          stomach bloating or pain

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using Nistatin and call your doctor immediately:

•          irritation or burning of the mouth

•          hives

•          rash or itching

•          difficulty breathing or swallowing

Nistatin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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