Nystatin - Oral

By Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, MPH

What is nystatin?

Nystatin (brand names: Bio-statin®, Mycostatin®, Nadostine®, Nilstat®) is an oral antifungal used to treat fungal infections in the mouth or gastrointestinal tract, most commonly Candida.

Its use in cats, dogs, reptiles, and birds to treat fungal infections is 'off label' or 'extra label'. Many drugs are commonly prescribed for off label use in veterinary medicine. In these instances, follow your veterinarian’s directions and cautions very carefully as their directions may be significantly different from those on the label.

How is nystatin given?

Nystatin is given by mouth in the form of a tablet or oral liquid suspension. It can be given with or without food, but if your pet vomits after taking this medication on an empty stomach, give the next dose with food. Shake the suspension well and measure carefully prior to dosing your pet.

This medication should take effect within 1 to 2 days, and improvements in clinical signs should follow.

What if I miss giving my pet the medication?

If you miss a dose, give it when you remember, but if it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the dose you missed and give it at the next scheduled time, and return to the regular dosing schedule. Never give your pet two doses at once or give extra doses.

Are there any potential side effects?

High doses of nystatin may cause irritation in the mouth or stomach upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lack of appetite.

This short-acting medication should stop working within 24 hours.

Are there any risk factors for this medication?

Nystatin should not be used by pets that are allergic to it. Use with caution in pregnant or nursing animals as studies are limited, however because this medication is not well absorbed, it is likely safe in these cases.

Are there any drug interactions I should be aware of?

There are no known interactions with nystatin at this time.

Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

Is there any monitoring that needs to be done with this medication?

There is no specific monitoring that needs to be done while your pet is taking this medication. Your veterinarian may monitor your pet to be sure that the medication is working.

How do I store nystatin?

Store nystatin at room temperature (59°F-86°F or 15°C-30°C) in a tight container and away from light, heat, and moisture. Do not freeze the liquid suspension or expose it to temperatures above 104°F (40°C).

What should I do in case of emergency?

If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately. If they are not available, follow their directions in contacting an emergency facility.

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