Nystatin is an antifungal medicine used to treat a variety of different fungal infections, such as thrush and yeast diaper rash
. It is available by prescription only and comes in many different forms and strengths, including:
- Powder (for skin use)
- Vaginal tablets
- Oral suspension
- Oral tablets.
Nystatin works by binding to ergosterol, an important component of the fungal cell membrane. This changes the fungal cell membrane, making it more "leaky" and allowing for the leakage of important cellular contents to occur.
Even when taken by mouth, nystatin is not significantly absorbed into the bloodstream (it stays in the digestive tract and is excreted through the feces). This means that nystatin is not good for fungal infections other than those on the surface of the body (which can be treated with the ointment, powder, or cream form of nystatin) or those of the digestive tract (which can be treated with oral forms of nystatin).
(Click Nystatin for a list of the various strengths available for different nystatin products, for more information on when and how to use these products, and to find out what side effects may occur with this drug.)