Gentian violet (Vaginal)
Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Uses For This Medicine
Vaginal gentian violet is used to treat fungus (yeast) infections.
Vaginal gentian violet was available only with your doctor's prescription.
Key Pharmaceuticals discontinued Genapax® on October 3, 1990 .
Before Using This Medicine
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.
Studies on gentian violet have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of vaginal gentian violet in children with use in other age groups.
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 vaginal 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.
Proper Use of This Medicine
Gentian violet usually comes with patient directions. Read them carefully before using gentian violet.
After insertion, remove the tampon from the vagina after 3 to 4 hours unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
To help clear up your infection completely, keep using gentian violet for the full time of treatment, even though your condition may have improved. Do not miss any doses.
While you are using gentian violet tampons, the use of regular (non-medicated) tampons is not recommended. They will soak up the medicine that stays in the vagina after the gentian violet tampon is taken out. During your menstrual period you should wear a minipad or sanitary napkin instead.
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 vaginal dosage form (tampons):
- For treating a vaginal fungus (yeast) infection:
- Adults and teenagers—5 milligrams (one tampon) inserted into your vagina one or two times a day for twelve days in a row. The tampon should be left in your vagina for three to four hours.
- For treating a vaginal fungus (yeast) infection:
If you miss a dose of gentian violet, take 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. Do not double doses.
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 This Medicine
If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
Gentian violet will stain the skin and clothing. Vaginal medicines usually will come out of the vagina during treatment. To keep the medicine from getting on your clothing, wear a minipad or sanitary napkin.
To help clear up your infection completely and to help make sure it does not return, good health habits are also needed.
- Wear cotton panties (or panties or pantyhose with cotton crotches) instead of synthetic (for example, nylon or rayon) panties.
- Wear only clean panties.
If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.
Many vaginal infections are spread by having sex. A male sexual partner may carry the germs on or in his penis. While you are using gentian violet, it may be a good idea for your partner to wear a condom during sex to avoid re-infection. Also, your partner may need to be treated. Do not stop using gentian violet if you have sex during treatment.
Some women may want to use a douche before putting each dose in the vagina. Some doctors will allow the use of a vinegar and water douche or other douche. However, others do not allow any douching. If you do use a douche, do not overfill the vagina. To do so may push the douche up into the uterus and possibly cause inflammation or infection. Also, do not douche if you are pregnant since this may harm the fetus. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.
This Medicine 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:
- Vaginal burning, itching, pain, or other sign of 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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