Nystatin side effects and drug information

Nystatin is a prescription drug that is used as a treatment for fungus infections in the mouth. It belongs to a group of drugs called antifungals and is available in 3 forms which are: lozenge, dry powder, and liquid.  

Nystatin comes in two dosage forms:

  • Suspension
  • Tablet
Nystatin 
Melting point44–46 °C (111–115 °F)
FormulaC47H75NO17
Drug classPolyene antifungal medication
Trade nameMycostatin, Nystop
Molar mass926.1 g/mol

Side Effects

Just like any other medicines, Nystatin may cause some unfavorable side effects. Most of its side effects, though, do not require medical attention as they usually go away as the body gets to adjust to the medication.

However, if the experience of the side effects continue to persist and start to affect your daily activities, it is better to consult your health care provider as he or she can help you reduce the effects caused by the medication.

Some of the common side effects caused by Nystatin are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Indication and Dosage

The information included here with regards to dosage are all based on average doses that are generally given, but every dosage is different for every patient.  

Dosage is usually based on the strength of the medicine, and the number of doses along with the length of treatment and the time interval between each medicine intake depends on the person’s medical condition.

Average doses are the following:

For the lozenge and tablet dosage forms:

Adults and children who are older than five years old may take 1 to 2 lozenges or tablets for about 3 to 5 times daily, and this may be taken for up to 14 days.

For children below five years old, lozenge or tablet may not be safe for them to take. The oral suspension is recommended for this age group.

For the suspension dosage form:

Adults and children over five years old may take 4 to 6ml or one teaspoonful of Nystatin 4 times daily.

Children younger than five years old may take 2ml of Nystatin 4x daily.

Premature and infants with low birth weight may take 1ml 4x daily.

Drug Interaction

There are some types of medicines that cannot be used at all along with other medications as they may cause harm or sometimes even fatal effects. However, there are certain types of medicines that, although may cause drug interactions with other medicines, they can still work together. For these kinds of drugs, the health care provider usually adjusts the dosage.

If you are taking any other constipation medications, whether prescription or non- prescription, herbal, etc. do inform your doctor to prevent adverse side effects and so that an accurate dosage may be instructed.

Other Interactions

Some medicines may interact with certain types of food as well, while others are not intended to be taken around mealtime. Aside from food, some drugs may also interact with alcohol or tobacco.

For safety, talk to your doctor about other factors that may cause interactions with this medication such as food, alcohol, tobacco, among others.  

Warnings and Precautions

This drug may cause certain side effects or interactions, and before starting treatment with this, benefits must outweigh the risks, which is why consulting your doctor 1st is always advised.  

For the use of Nystatin, some aspects must be considered to prevent or avoid adverse reactions or other complications. Some of these factors for consideration may include:

  • Allergies- you must inform your health care provider if you have a history of an allergic reaction to this medication or with other drugs. Also mention if you have other types of allergies on other things like animals, food, preservatives, dyes, etc.
  • Pediatric- based on studies, this drug’s side effect on children does not have any difference as that of the adults. But children who are younger than five years old should take the oral suspension version as the lozenge or tablet may not be safe for their age.
  • Geriatric- since there are no studies on its use for the elderly, it is not known whether this drug works the same way as it does in younger adults. There is also no specific data on its use for the elderly.

Clinical Pharmacology

When this drug attaches to sterols in the fungal cell membrane, the permeability of the cell wall changes as well, and in the process, it allows leakage of some cellular contents.  

The absorption rate for this antifungal medication is poor, and it is excreted through a fecal method where the drug remains unchanged. After taking Nystatin, signs of improvement may occur within 24 to 72 hours.

Medication Guide

For patients taking the dry powder form of Nystatin:

Here are the instructions for using the dry powder:

1/8 teaspoon of the dry powder should be immediately added to 4 ounces of water then mix well by making sure that they are stirred properly together.  

Once the dry powder and the water are mixed properly, take medicine in divided doses such that the whole amount, which is around 4oz, is taken in several portions.

As you take each portion, hold or swish it around in your mouth for as long as possible, then gargle and swallow. Make sure that you use up all the liquid to complete a full dosage.

For patients taking the lozenge form of Nystatin:

When using the lozenge, it should be held in the mouth and let it dissolve completely and slowly. It should take about 15 to 30 minutes. Swallow the saliva and do not chew or swallow the lozenge as a whole.

This form is not to be given to children below five years old.

For patients taking the oral liquid form of Nystatin:

The oral version must be taken by mouth, and the dropper that comes with the package should be used to get an accurate dosage. Take medicine by putting half of the dosage in each side of the mouth, and hold or swish it around in your mouth for as long as possible, then gargle and swallow.

For those with dentures, soak the denture every night in Nystatin for oral suspension. This is done to remove the fungus from the denture.

Finish your treatment instruction from your doctor to completely clear up the infection even if your condition has improved. It would be best if you never missed a dose.