Gentian Violet (Vaginal)

An anti-fungal medication which is inserted directly into the vagina for treatment of yeast infections, Gentian Violet should only be used under the supervision of a doctor.


Gentian Violet is an anti-fungal medication which was more popular several decades ago than it is now, primarily because antibiotics have come along to provide a very effective alternative to this medication. While gentian violet is known to be a good killer of bacteria, and yeast infections specifically, the more modern approach of using antibiotics is recommended by doctors most of the time these days.

Because this medication stains purple, some care must be used in application, and the patient must also be very sure of contacting all interior body surfaces with the medication, in order to be sure of killing all bacteria. It can be somewhat awkward to use this medication because of the staining and because it must be applied internally, but that is the most effective way to kill the yeast infection with gentian violet.

When preparing for an application, you should get out an old (disposable) towel, some flexible gloves, tampons, old panties that can be discarded, a plastic container to mix the gentian violet and soak the tampon, panty liners, a plastic spoon, and gentian violet at 1% concentration. Then you'll need to do the following: wash your hands, insert a pad into your underwear, mix one tablespoon of the gentian violet with one tablespoon of water in the container, insert the tip of a tampon in the mixture and let it soak three-quarters of the way up the tampon before inserting, then insert the tampon in your normal way for between three and four hours.

During insertion, it is important that you contact all interior surfaces, so that the medication can come in direct contact with all bacteria, and have a good opportunity to kill them off. Afterwards, you should check for any signs of irritation, and if there are some, you may want to dilute the gentian violet with a bit more water.

Condition Treated

  • Vaginal infection

Type Of Medicine

  • Anti-fungal

Side Effects

While it delivers some very powerful bacteria-killing effects for patients, Gentian violet may also be accompanied by some undesirable side effects which can occur to a greater or lesser degree from patient to patient. Most patients experience no side effects whatsoever when using this medication, but on the other hand, there are some extremely rare cases where others have had a very serious reaction to it, such as an allergic reaction. If an allergic reaction is in progress for you personally, or you suspect that you are having an allergic reaction, you should seek emergency medical attention as quickly as possible, because the symptoms may grow worse and even have the potential of becoming life-threatening. The warning signs to look out for in an allergic reaction include all of the following:

  • Pronounced puffiness or swelling in the area of the face, especially in the lips, mouth, tongue, throat and around the eyelids
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness, accompanied by the sensation that you are about to faint
  • Extreme tightness in the chest, usually accompanied by difficulty breathing
  • Severe itchiness at various locations around the body
  • The sudden appearance of rashes and/or hives on the skin

The likelihood is that you will not develop any side effects when using gentian violet, but if you do notice any side effects in the immediate aftermath of usage, contact your doctor, and, if necessary, seek treatment. The most common side effects which occur for women using gentian violet vaginally are the following:

  • Vaginal burning or itching
  • Pain in the vagina or elsewhere
  • Signs of irritation that were not present prior to using gentian violet.

It's possible that you'll notice some other side effects which are very mild in nature and will subside on their own. It's fairly common for patients using a new medication to experience temporary minor side effects which flare up and then subside, as the body adjusts itself to a new medication. If any of these should occur during your own usage, and become uncomfortable to the point where it bothers you, you should contact your doctor for advice.


Dosage of gentian violet will be different for patients in all likelihood, so it's very important to follow your family doctor's directions, or those printed on the label of the container for your medication. The dosing instructions listed below should be considered typical or standard for patients using this medication, but should not be accepted as appropriate for your specific circumstances.

The amount of medicine that you use during an application of gentian violet will depend on several factors, including the strength of the medicine itself, the number of doses being taken over a given period of time, and your body's tolerance to the medication.

A standard application of vaginal gentian violet is as follows:

  • For tampon application treating a vaginal fungus infection - adults and teenagers should use 5 mg of medication, absorbed into one tampon, and inserted into the vagina, once or twice daily, for up to 12 consecutive days. When the tampon is inserted into the vagina, it should be left there for between three and four hours, with an old towel in place to absorb any medicine that might be discharged.

During the 12-day period, your application of vaginal gentian violet should occur at approximately the same time each day, so as to help you remember to do it daily. If you should miss a day, it is not advisable for you to double up on doses to try to get back on schedule. However, if you miss your dosage by several hours but are still in the same day, it is permissible to apply vaginal gentian violet later in the day.


Vaginal gentian violet is not to be ingested into the body, so there is a much lower likelihood of it being impacted by any other medications which you may be concurrently using. However, it is advisable all the same to prepare a list for your doctor's review that will include all the vitamins, over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements, and prescription medications which you are now using, in addition to the dosage levels of each of these. Your doctor can then make some kind of a determination on whether or not there is a potential for interaction between any of the drugs on your list and gentian violet.

Interactions may include adverse side effects that are imparted to you as the patient, or interactions can also be characterized by a lessening of effectiveness of one or the two drugs involved. Neither of these potential conditions is beneficial, and should be avoided if at all possible. You should not start taking any new medications while you're being treated with gentian violet, unless you are advised to do so by your family doctor.

You should be aware that using alcohol or tobacco at the same time that you are being treated with gentian violet may cause some kind of interaction, and this may require medical treatment of its own.


If your symptoms do not improve within a few days of using gentian violet, or if you observe that they are even becoming worse, you should discontinue usage of the medicine and seek your doctor's advice. Be advised that using gentian violet will stain your skin as well as any clothing or other materials that it comes in contact with.

Once the tampon has been inserted into the vagina with medicine, you can expect that at least a small amount of medicine will come out of the vagina, so you should be prepared for this by wearing a sanitary napkin.

In order for the medicine to be as effective as possible, you should couple it with good personal hygiene and health habits. For instance, you should wear cotton panties rather than synthetic ones, and you should always have clean panties on.

It is very possible for vaginal infections to be spread during sexual contact, so it is advisable for your male partner to wear a condom during intercourse, so that he does not become infected or re-infected. If your partner begins to exhibit symptoms of infection, you should recommend to him that he seeks treatment immediately.

Some doctors prefer that you do not use any kind of douche before treatment with gentian violet, but if you do, you should be careful not to overfill the vagina. This could cause inflammation or infection to be pushed high up into the uterus, and spread the bacteria.

You should not use gentian violet as a vaginal treatment if you are pregnant, because there is a potential for it to harm the fetus. If you should become pregnant during a program of treatment with gentian violet, you should immediately consult with your physician about how to proceed.


This medication should be stored at room temperature, out of the reach of children, and in a location where it will not encounter excessive humidity. It should not be frozen, or allowed to come in direct contact with strong lighting. Expired or unused medication should be disposed of using proper disposal methods recommended by your doctor or pharmacist.


The vaginal route form of gentian violet is most often used in the treatment of yeast infections of the vagina, and it works by killing the bacteria which cause the infection. Considerable care must be used in the application of this medicine, and it will be necessary to use it for a period of up to twelve days, applying it as many as three times daily. If symptoms do not improve after a few days, you should consult with your doctor about a potential alternative form of treatment.