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Treatment > Medications

Nystatin – Successfully treat fungal infections

Dr. med. André Sommer

Dr. med. André Sommer

One of the most common infectious diseases are fungal infections – whether in the intestine, mouth, genital area or on the skin. They cause unpleasant symptoms such as persistent itching, redness, flaky skin or even intestinal cramps and diarrhea. One important medicine for the treatment of these so-called mycoses is nystatin. The active ingredient is used primarily in the treatment of yeast infections (Candida albicans). It is used for skin, intestinal and genital fungi as well as inflammation in the mouth and throat area.

What are the causes and symptoms of yeast infections?

Everyone carries yeast in their bodies, However, if the immune system is weakened, for example by chronic illnesses, hormonal changes or an unbalanced diet, the yeasts can multiply and cause infections. Yeast infections mainly occur in the digestive tract, oral mucosa, genital area and on the skin.

Oral thrush

In the case of oral thrush, yeasts attack the mouth and throat. If the esophagus is affected, it is called thrush oesophagitis. Typical symptoms are red and inflamed oral mucosa on which whitish deposits are located. Furthermore, sufferers experience from taste disorders, bad breath and dry mouth as well as difficulty swallowing. The infection is triggered by a weakened immune system, immunosuppressive drugs such as cortisone, antibiotics and dentures.

Digestive tract infections

If the intestinal flora is not intact, candida yeasts also lead to infections in the digestive tract. Possible causes are a high sugar and wheat diet, the frequent use of antibiotics and chronic intestinal diseases. With fungal infections in the intestine, the fungi multiply and spread. They convert carbohydrates from food into carbon dioxide and fusel alcohols. The formation of gases causes symptoms such as flatulence or abdominal pain. Other symptoms include diarrhea, constipation and anal itching.

Fungal infection in the genital area

Especially in women, fungal infections often occur in the genital area. In vaginal mycosis the fungal disease causes inflammation of the vulva and vaginal mucosa. The multiplication of the fungi is caused by a weakened immune system, hormonal fluctuations, injuries in the mucous membrane and excessive hygiene, which can destroy the acidic vaginal milieu. Taking medication, stress and clothing that is too tight can also lead to a fungal infection in the genital area. Symptoms include redness, swelling and uncomfortable itching in the area of the vaginal entrance. There is also increased discharge and a painful burning sensation.

Around a quarter of men also suffer from fungal infections in the genital area. The disease can cause inflammation of the foreskin and glans. Possible causes are a weakened immune system, poor hygiene and foreskin narrowing. Fungal infections can also be transmitted by intercourse. Symptoms include red pimples on the glans, itching and a burning sensation.

Nystatin remedies symptoms and diseases associated with a yeast infection.

How does nystatin work?

When fighting yeast in the body nystatin is stored in the cell wall of the fungi and makes it permeable. This creates pores in the cell membrane, which changes the metabolism of the fungi and stops their growth. Eventually, the fungi die so that the infection is combated and the intestinal, oral and vaginal flora can be regulated again.

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What ways can nystatin be used?

The best-known manufacturers of nystatin include acis, STADA and MEDA Pharma, The drug companies offer nystatin as a suspension, cream, tablet, mouth gel, ointment, drops and paste. Depending on the type of fungal infection, nystatin is taken in different forms.

For the treatment of inflammation in the mouth and throat area, nystatin is given in the form of mouthwash, lozenges, drops and mouth gel. This allows the entire area in the mouth, throat and esophagus to be optimally cleaned and the reproduction of the fungi to be inhibited. For a fungal infection on the skin as well as foot or nail fungus, nystatin is used as a cream, paste and ointment. Here the infection can also be treated selectively. In order to fight the mycoses in the genital area, the active ingredient is used as vaginal suppositories, vaginal tablets and ointments.

Which nystatin is used for intestinal fungus?

When fighting the fungi in the digestive tract, the person concerned takes the active ingredient orally in the form of nystatin tablets or drops. The medicine enables local treatment because it is not absorbed into the blood from the intestine. Nystatin acts directly on the mucous membrane in the digestive tract.

Anti-fungal agents for infants and children too?

Fungal infections also occur in infants and young children. Since their defense mechanism is not yet fully developed, the fungi trigger an infection faster and easier at this age. Children most often suffer from an inflammation of the oral mucosa and diaper thrush. With yeast in the diaper area, babies have a red, sore, painful and itchy bottom. There are also characteristic blisters and pustules as well as flaky skin. The causes are due, among other things, to poor hygiene, sensitive skin and acidic nutrition. Diapers can also be a cause of diaper thrush. They are airtight and watertight, which promotes an increase in bacteria and the triggering of infections.

Nystatin works well for babies and children

Because nystatin has a high tolerance, this active ingredient is also suitable for babies and children. For the treatment of diaper thrush, the antifungal agent is administered as a paste or gel. Another form of fungal infection in children is that oral thrush. There is an infection of the oral mucosa in this case. Fungus can be caused by dirty hands, unclean objects such as pacifiers or teethers and the mother's nipples when breastfeeding. Symptoms include white deposits on the oral mucosa, mild fever and a burning sensation in the mouth. Oral thrush is treated with nystatin in drops, as a mouth gel and as a suspension.

What are the side effects of nystatin?

The active ingredient nystatin is tolerated very well. Nevertheless, side effects can occur after ingestion. Often there are symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract, which are expressed in the form of nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Occasionally, rashes with redness, itching or burning, and hives occur. In rare cases, there may be severe allergic reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which is a rare, immunological reaction with blistering or ulceration on the mucous membranes.

Does the medicine require a prescription?

Medications with nystatin are available without a prescription and can be ordered online in all pharmacy branches and mail order pharmacies.

Overview - nystatin to fight yeast infections:

  • The anti-fungal agent nystatin is used to treat fungal infections in the intestine, mouth, genital area and on the skin.
  • It stops the fungi from growing in the body and destroys their cell membrane.
  • Depending on the region of the body, nystatin can be administered as an ointment, cream, paste, suspension, gel, lozenge, mouthwash or film-coated tablet.
  • Nystatin is suitable for adults as well as for infants and children.
  • Medicines with the active ingredient nystatin do not require a prescription.

Tietz, H.J., 2014. Auf breiter Front gegen Mykosen. Uro-News, 18(9), pp.32-34.

Seebacher, C., 2001. Lokalantimykotika. In Dermatomykosen(pp. 117-141). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Dr. med. André Sommer

Dr. med. André Sommer

I’m André, a medical doctor from Berlin. Together with a team of medical doctors, nutritionists and data scientists we empower people to understand digestive issues with our app Cara Care.

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