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Treating oral thrush in babies

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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Mild oral thrush infections in babies often clear up after a few days without treatment.

However, if you are concerned, visit your GP. You can also ask your health visitor for advice, or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

Antifungal medicine

If your GP decides your baby needs treatment, they will probably prescribe an antifungal medicine.

If your baby is less than four months old, a medication called nystatin may be recommended.

In babies older than four months, a medication called miconazole is likely to be recommended. This is because there is a small risk of miconazole causing choking if it's not applied properly.

Nystatin

Nystatin comes as a liquid medicine (suspension). You put the liquid directly on the affected area using a dropper (oral dispenser) supplied with the medicine.

Nystatin does not usually cause any side effects and most babies will have no trouble taking the medication.

Miconazole

Miconazole is available as a gel. You apply the gel to the affected areas using a clean finger. It's important only to apply a little at a time and to try to avoid the back of your baby's mouth to reduce the risk of choking.

A small number of babies are sick after being treated with miconazole. This side effect usually passes and is not cause for concern.

General advice on treatment

Medication is most effective if you use it after your baby has had a feed or drink.

Continue to use the medicine for two days after the infection has cleared up as this will help prevent the infection from coming back.

If treatment hasn't cleared the thrush after seven days, contact your GP for advice.

Medical Review: April 18, 2012

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