Nystatin and other drugs can help you get well when you are ill, but they also have risks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers a medication safe enough to approve when "its benefits outweigh its known risks." These risks may include unwanted side effects or interactions with foods or other medications, and they can be as mild as a headache or serious enough to be life-threatening.
According to Medline Plus, the health information website of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, Nystatin is normally used to treat fungal infections of the skin, mouth, vagina and intestinal tract. Nystatin is taken orally in a tablet, lozenge or liquid form to treat intestinal infections; inserted as a tablet or cream to treat vaginal infections; and applied as an ointment, cream or powder for skin infections. A combination of Nystatin and Triamcinolone, a corticosteroid, is used as a cream or ointment to treat fungal infections. The corticosteroid is added to help relieve redness, swelling and itching.
Nystatin is sold under a variety of brand names in the United States: Mycostain®, Mycostatin® Filmlok®, Mycostain® Pastilles, Nystatin Ointment®, Nystat-RX®, Nystop® and Pedi-Dri®. The U.S. brand names for Nystatin and Triamcinolone combination products are Myco-Triacet®, Mytrex® and Quenalog®.
Medline Plus recommends that you follow these precautions before you or a family member takes or uses Nystatin. 1. Tell your doctor or pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you use, including vitamins. 2. Tell them if you are allergic to Nystatin, Triamcinolone or to any other drugs. 3. Tell them if you are pregnant, may become pregnant or breast-feeding.
Nystatin skin ointment, cream or powder, or vaginal cream or powder may cause itching, burning or irritation. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away.
Side effects of Nystatin oral tablets, lozenges or liquid may include diarrhea, upset stomach, stomach pain or skin rash. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
Nystatin and Triamcinolone combination products may cause blistering, burning, dryness, itching or peeling. Other rare, more serious side effects include acne or oily skin; increased hair growth, especially on the face; increased loss of hair especially on the scalp; reddish purple lines on arms, face, legs, trunk or groin; and thinning of the skin with easy bruising. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. The coriticosteroid may cause higher blood and urine sugar levels in diabetic patients, especially those with severe diabetes who take a large amount of this medication.
Dangers to Children
Children under age 5 may be too young to safely take Nystatin tablets or lozenges and should be given the oral suspension (liquid) dosage form. Children who use the Nystatin and Triamcinolone combination should be monitored closely by a doctor, because the corticosteroid is absorbed through the skin and may be more likely to cause side effects in children.
Educate yourself about Nystatin and other prescription and over-the-counter drugs before you take them. The Medline Plus and Mayo Clinic websites offer databases on current prescription and over-the-counter drugs with information about use during pregnancy, drug interactions, allergies and more. You may also ask your pharmacist for printed information about a medication when you fill the prescription.