Nystatin is an antifungal medication that is used to treat candidiasis, also called a yeast infection or thrush. Nystatin can be applied topically with an ointment, cream, or powder. It can also be administered orally with a lozenge or a swish-and-swallow solution.

Key Points

  • Nystatin
    • Mechanism
      • Antifungal
        • Binds to ergosterol to form holes in fungal membranes, causing fungal cell leakage and death
      • ***Note: ends in “-statin” but is NOT a statin (cholesterol) medication.
    • Clinical Use
      • Candida fungal infections
        • Oral/esophageal candidiasis
          • Administered as a liquid “swish and swallow” suspension that should be swished around the mouth and then swallowed
          • May also be administered as a lozenge that the patient should let dissolve completely in mouth
        • Topical yeast infections
          • Administered topically as an ointment, cream, or powder
    • Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
      • Skin irritation (topical application)
      • Nausea and vomiting (oral administration)
      • May interfere with oral contraceptives
        • Teach patient to use additional contraception