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What Is Nystatin?

Nystatin is a prescription antifungal medication that is used to treat different types of fungal infections, such as thrush, yeast infection, and diaper rash. It comes in various forms, including oral tablets, oral solution, vaginal tablets, ointment, cream, and powder.
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 ointments, creams, or powders) or those of the digestive tract (which can be treated with oral forms of nystatin).
(Click Nystatin for more information on what nystatin is used for, to learn about the side effects associated with this medicine, and to find out what you should review with your healthcare provider before starting the drug.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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