Gentian violet (Topical)
Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antifungal
Uses For gentian violet
Gentian violet belongs to the group of medicines called antifungals. Topical gentian violet is used to treat some types of fungus infections inside the mouth (thrush) and of the skin.
Gentian violet is available without a prescription.
Before Using gentian violet
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For gentian violet, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to gentian violet or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Although there is no specific information comparing use of gentian violet in children with use in other age groups, gentian violet is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of gentian violet in the elderly with use in other age groups, gentian violet is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of gentian violet. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Ulcerative skin condition on the face—Use of gentian violet may cause tattooing of the area
Proper Use of gentian violet
Using a cotton swab, apply enough gentian violet to cover only the affected area.
If you are applying gentian violet to affected areas in the mouth, avoid swallowing any of the medicine.
If you are using gentian violet in a child's mouth, make sure you understand exactly how to apply it so that it is not swallowed. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.
Do not apply an occlusive dressing (airtight covering, such as kitchen plastic wrap) over gentian violet. It may cause irritation of the skin.
To help clear up your infection completely, keep using gentian violet for the full time of treatment, even if your condition has improved. Do not miss any doses.
The dose of gentian violet will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of gentian violet. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For topical solution dosage form:
- For fungus infections:
- Adults and children—Apply to the affected area(s) of the skin two or three times a day for three days.
- For fungus infections:
If you miss a dose of gentian violet, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions While Using gentian violet
Gentian violet will stain the skin and clothing. Avoid getting the medicine on your clothes.
Gentian violet Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- Skin irritation not present before use of gentian violet
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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