Nystatin is approved for the treatment of various fungal infections. Specifically, it is used to treat infections caused by Candida, a type of fungus that is a common cause of yeast infections, thrush, and numerous other infections. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label uses of nystatin, such as for treating other types of fungal infections (other than Candida infections).
What Is Nystatin Used For?
Nystatin is a prescription antifungal medication. It is available in a variety of different forms and is used to treat a variety of different fungal infections. Specifically, it is approved to treat fungal infections caused by the Candida species of fungi. This type of fungus is a common cause of thrush, diaper rash, yeast infections, and many other infections.
This product is used to treat Candida infections on the surface of the skin (for ointment, cream, or powder products), in the vagina (for vaginal tablets), or the mouth and digestive tract (for the oral forms). Because nystatin is not significantly absorbed into the bloodstream (even when taken by mouth), it is not a good treatment for other types of fungal infections, such as bloodstream, bladder, or brain infections.
It is important to note that nystatin (or other anti-fungal medications) should be used to treat diaper rash only in cases caused by (or complicated by) a Candida yeast infection.
How Does Nystatin Work?
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.
Because human cells do not contain ergosterol, nystatin targets only the fungal cells, not the human cells.