Health Guide
Drug Guide

Gentian violet

What is it?

Gentian Violet is a purple dye derived from coal tar that is used on the skin as an antifungal and antibacterial agent.

Other names for Gentian Violet include: Crystal Violet, Hexamethylpararosaniline Chloride, Mythyrosailine Chloride, Methylrosanilinium Chloride, Methylvioletti, Pyoctaninum Caeruleum, and Viola Crystallina.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you


Talk with your caregiver about how much Gentian Violet you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Gentian Violet. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.


1. Product Information: Genapax (R), gentian violet. Key Pharmaceuticals, Kenilworth, NJ; 1990.

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5. Grant WM: Toxicology of the Eye, 3rd ed. Charls C Thomas, Springfield, IL; 1986.

6. Parker WT & Binder PS: Gentian violet keratoconjunctivitis. AM J Ophthalmol 1979; 87:340-343.

7. Leung AKC: Gentian Violet in the treatment of oral candidiasis. Pediatr Infect Dis J 1988; 7:304-305.

8. Horsefiel P, Logan FA & Newey JA et al: Oral irritation with gentian violet. Br Med J 1976; 2:528.

9. John RW: Necrosis of oral mucosa after local application of crystal violet. Br Med J 1968; 1:157.

10. Gilman AG, Rall TW, Nies AS et al (eds): Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed. Pergamon Press Inc, Elmsford, NY; 1990.

11. Mobacken H: Gentian violet and wound repair. J Am Ac Ad Dermatol 1986;15:1303.

Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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