Nystatin for Candida infections

This leaflet is for parents and carers about how to use this medicine in children. Our information may differ from that provided by the manufacturers, because their information usually relates to adults. Read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.

Name of medicine


Brand name: Nystan

Why is it important for my child to take Nystatin?

Candida (thrush) is an infection caused by a yeast-like fungus.

Nystatin kills the fungus and so gets rid of the infection, or stops an infection from developing.

Some of the fungus may remain after the symptoms of the infection have gone. It is therefore important that you continue to give the medicine as your doctor has prescribed, to make sure that all the fungi are killed, otherwise the infection may come back. Please do not stop early.

What is Nystatin available as?

  • Liquid medicine (suspension): 100,000 units in 1 mL; contains sucrose and may contain alcohol. If you have any concerns or questions, speak with your child’s doctor or pharmacist.

When should I give Nystatin

For treatment of an infection:

  • When used to treat an infection, nystatin is usually given four times each day after food. This should be after breakfast, after lunch, after tea and at bedtime. These times should be at least 3 hours apart.

For prevention of infection:

  • When used to prevent infection, nystatin is given once a day, after a meal. This should be at about the same time each day.

Give the medicine at about the same time(s) each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.

How much should I give?

Your doctor will work out the amount of Nystatin (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.

How should I give Nystatin?

Liquid medicine

  • Shake the medicine well. Measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or medicine spoon. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.
  • Put the medicine into your child’s mouth. They should keep it in their mouth for as long as possible – the longer it is in contact with the infected area, the better it will work.
  • Your child should then swallow or spit out the medicine, depending on what your doctor has told you to do.
  • Do not dilute the medicine or mix it with food or drink.

Nystatin should always be given after a meal or some food, not before it.

When should the medicine start working?

Your child should start to get better after taking the medicine for 2 days. They should continue to take the medicine even after they start to feel better, as it takes a while to kill all the fungus.

What if my child is sick (vomits)?

  • If your child is sick less than 30 minutes after having a dose of Nystatin, give them the same dose again.
  • If your child is sick more than 30 minutes after having a dose of Nystatin, do not give them another dose. Wait until the next normal dose.

If your child is sick again, seek advice from your family doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital. They will decide what to do based on your child’s condition and the specific medicine involved.

What if I forget to give it?

If you are giving it four times a day to treat an infection:

  • If you miss a dose, wait until the next normal dose. Do not give the missed dose.

If you are giving it once a day to prevent infection:

  • Give the missed dose as soon as you remember, as long as this is at least 12 hours before the next normal dose. You do not need to wake your child up to give a missed dose.

What if I give too much?

You are unlikely to cause harm if you give an extra dose of Nystatin by mistake. If you are concerned that you may have given too much, contact your doctor or local NHS services (details at end of leaflet). Have the medicine or packaging with you if you telephone for advice.

Are there any possible side effects?

We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects).

Nystatin may cause some minor side-effects when your child first starts taking it. These should wear off after a few days. If they are still a problem after a week, contact your doctor for advice.

  • Your child may get a skin rash or itching, although this is unlikely. You can apply an aqueous cream or cream for itching.
  • Your child may feel sick.
  • Your child’s mouth and throat may feel sore or feel irritated.

There may sometimes be other side effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side effects to a UK safety scheme at

Can other medicines be given at the same time as Nystatin?

  • You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal and complementary medicines.

Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?

  • If your child is taking nystatin to treat an infection, it is important that they take the whole course of treatment. The Candida fungi may remain after your child starts to feel well; however, it is important to kill all the fungi to make sure that the infection doesn’t come back.
  • If your child has a dental brace or dentures, ask your doctor or pharmacist about how to clean them.
  • Never save medicine for future illnesses. Throw away any unused medicine or return it to the pharmacy.

General advice about medicines

  • Try to give medicines at about the same times each day, to help you remember.
  • Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm.
  • If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor for advice.

Where should I keep this medicine?

  • Keep the medicine in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight.
  • Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
  • Keep the medicine in the container it came in.

Who to contact for more information?

Your child’s doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about Nystatin and about other medicines used to treat Candida.

England: NHS 111

Tel 111

Scotland: NHS 24

Northern Ireland: NI Direct

Wales: NHS 111 Wales

Copyright disclaimer

Version [2]. © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild, all rights reserved. Review by March 2017.

The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website,

We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.