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Vaginal Tablets

Vaginal Tablets

Simple Summary: Go to the hospital first

6min
Vaginal Tablets

Objectives

The best plan when you have vaginitis is to receive treatment from a specialist by going to a hospital but those who find visiting the hospital difficult due to various reasons tend to choose the best alternative plan. This is the vaginal tablets that can be purchased at pharmacies without needing a prescription. Vaginal tablets are simple to purchase and are effective quickly, so at first glance it can look like the perfect self-treatment. But you need to first understand your body and the nature of the medication to get the full effects of vaginal tablets.

Medicine Inserted Directly into the Vagina

What is a vaginal tablet?

The vaginal tablet is a medicine inserted inside the vagina and it is used to treat disorders such as vaginitis or vaginal dryness. They are generally made in a form of suppositories (a solid drug inserted into the anus or vagina).

※ It is a medicine inserted inside the vagina. Do not swallow!

👩‍⚕️
Other than the treatment of diseases, the vaginal tablets that contains progesterone are also used to help embryo implantation in infertility therapy. This requires a diagnosis and prescription from a doctor.

Some well-known vaginal tablets that are available without a prescription at pharmacies are the “Canesten Vaginal Tablet” and “Gyno-betadine Vaginal Suppositories.”

✈️
“Vaginal tablets” are generally divided into two kinds: over-the-counter drugs available at pharmacies and prescription drugs that require a prescription from a doctor. These products contain pharmaceutical ingredients known to have specific effects on the body. This document covers the “over-the-counter” vaginal tablets currently available at pharmacies in the Republic of Korea.

When Picking a Vaginal Tablet

Which product should you purchase out of the available products? The most important thing to consider in picking a vaginal tablet is the causative organism of the vaginitis. There are three types of vaginitis which are most common: bacterial vaginosis, candida vaginitis, and trichomoniasis and each has different causative organisms. Therefore, the vaginal tablet that can correctly treat the causative organism must be used.

The most definite way is to get a diagnosis from a specialist but if you’re unable to, the causative organism can be inferred through symptoms of each type of vaginitis.

  • Bacterial vaginosis
    • A strong fish-like odor
    • White or gray vaginal discharge
    • A larger amount of vaginal discharge than usual
    • Slight itchiness and pain during intercourse
  • Candida vaginitis
    • White vaginal discharge with a lumpy consistency
    • Itchiness and pain during intercourse
    • Pain during bowel movements
  • Trichomoniasis
    • Yellow or white-gray vaginal discharge
    • Green vaginal discharge when severe
    • Vaginal discharge with bubbles
    • An unpleasant fishy smell
    • Burning, itchiness, pain during intercourse and urination

🚨 Precautions When Using a Vaginal Tablet

  • Pregnant women, women who could potentially be pregnant or breastfeeding women must consult with a doctor, or pharmacist before using a vaginal tablet
  • Do not use during menstruation
  • Do not insert other products such as tampons or cleansers inside the vagina while using a vaginal tablet
  • Avoid penetrative sex while using a vaginal tablet
  • After inserting a vaginal tablet, lay down for 5 minutes and avoid exercising for 30 minutes
  • Take caution as a vaginal tablet can weaken latex or rubber products such as condoms
  • Soaps and detergents can weaken the sterilization of the tablet, so make sure to wash away any soap before use
  • Get treatment from a specialist if symptoms continue for more than 7 days despite using vaginal tablets

Vaginal Tablets Sold in Pharmacies: Canesten Vaginal Tablet

Ingredient: Clotrimazole

Effect: Candida vaginitis treatment

※ It cannot treat bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis.

The Canesten Vaginal Tablet is a white to light yellow, oblong vaginal tablet and there are three types: “Canesten ONE Vaginal Tablet,” “Canesten 6-DAY Vaginal Tablet,” and “Canesten Cream.”

  • Canesten ONE Vaginal Tablet
    • 500 mg of clotrimazole in each tablet
    • Insert one tablet into the vagina as deeply as possible before bedtime
  • Canesten 6-DAY Vaginal Tablet
    • 100 mg of clotrimazole in each tablet
    • Insert one tablet into the vagina as deeply as possible before bedtime for 6 days

※ Canesten ONE Vaginal Tablets and Canesten 6-DAY Vaginal Tablets contain the same ingredients but have different doses of clotrimazole. The difference is whether you would use a high-dose vaginal tablet once or use a low-dose vaginal tablet multiple times.

  • Canesten Cream
    • Use with the vaginal tablet if there are symptoms such as a skin rash on the vulva
    • Also effective for athlete’s foot!

🚨 Precautions for Canesten Vaginal Tablet

  • If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using the tablet and consult your doctor
    • Immune system : Allergic reactions such as fainting, low blood pressure, shortness of breath, hives, pain, or papules
    • Reproductive system : Skin peeling on genitals, itchiness, rash, edema (swelling), red spots, discomfort, ardor (burning sensation), irritation, pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, or mildly frequent urination
    • Gastrointestinal system : Abdominal pain or lower abdominal cramps
  • Avoid direct sunlight and store in a cool place with less humidity as the vaginal tablet may dissolve in high temperature

Vaginal Tablet Sold in Pharmacies: Gyno-betadine Vaginal Suppository

Ingredient: Povidone-iodine

Effects: Treatment for bacterial vaginosis, candida vaginitis, and trichomoniasis

Gyno-betadine Vaginal Suppository is a torpedo-shaped deep reddish brown suppository. The one dose of 200 mg should be inserted into the vagina as deeply as possible before bedtime.

※The dose must be adjusted according to age and symptoms.

🚨 Precautions for Gyno-betadine Vaginal Suppositories

  • The following patients should not be given a vaginal suppository:
    • Patients with abnormal thyroid function
    • Patients with renal failure
    • Newborns and infants younger than 6 months
    • Patients with herpes gestationis
    • Before and after radioactive iodine therapy
  • The following patients must consult with a specialist before using the vaginal suppository:
    • Critically ill patients (i.e., burn patients)
    • Patients with a medical history of thyroid disease
    • Patients with a medical history of renal failure
  • If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using the tablet and consult your doctor:
    • Hypersensitivity : Shortness of breath, flushing (redness), rashes, etc.
    • Skin : Pain (aches), itchiness, irritation, rashes, flaring (congested and become red), dermatitis, rare burning sensation, skin ulcer, contact dermatitis, skin discoloration, and impaired wound healing due to long-term use
  • Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight

😴
The vaginal tablet is best used just before bedtime Since using it during the day, when we are most active, can result in the medicine leaking out of your vagina and not being properly absorbed. The medicine won’t leak out of your vagina and will be well-absorbed during your sleep, therefore for high efficacy the vaginal tablet is inserted before bedtime. What’s important isn't the time but whether the vaginal tablet can be well-absorbed.

First, Visit the Hospital

🏥
If you have never been to the hospital or if you have never been diagnosed with vaginitis bacteria, let’s visit the hospital first. You can forget everything you have read so far. The vaginal tablet should not be an excuse to delay going to the hospital.

The vaginal tablet takes effect quickly, as it is a medicine that acts directly inside the vagina where vaginitis develops. Since it is easily available at pharmacies, those who find it difficult to visit the hospital tend to use vaginal tablets. But this beneficial side of the vaginal tablets can only shine with the accurate diagnosis of vaginitis and your body’s condition. If you have previously been diagnosed with vaginitis and remember your previous prescription, you could purchase the same medications when the same symptoms develop again, but we hope you don’t choose to use vaginal tablets after “self-diagnosis” and skip seeing a doctor.

Someone who is not a specialist won’t be able to accurately distinguish vaginitis from other symptoms. Various vaginitis symptoms could develop together and there are types that are difficult to treat with just vaginal tablets. Self-treatment based on an inaccurate evaluation can instead worsen the disease. You could see a temporary relief of symptoms without side effects but you should still see a doctor. Wasting time without knowing what underlying condition requires treatment can further worsen the disease.

Therefore, try to get a diagnosis and prescription from a specialist first.

Summary

  • If using the vaginal tablet to treat vaginitis, you must use a vaginal tablet that can target the causative organism of the infection.
  • Using vaginal tablets based on your own judgment and without a prescription from a specialist can be harmful to your health.
  • Always consult with a medical specialist when using vaginal tablets.
  • If your body shows abnormal reactions when using the vaginal tablet, stop using it immediately and visit the hospital.
References
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