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Updated 11 February 2013

Chlorhexidine gluconate

Chlorhexidine is an anti-infective for local treatment.

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Chlorhexidine gluconate is the active ingredient of Hexidin, Hibiscrub, Hibitane and Orosept.

Chlorhexidine gluconate is also one of multiple active ingredients found in Andolex-C and Orochlor.

General information

Chlorhexidine is an anti-infective for local treatment. It is a broad-spectrum antiseptic and disinfectant widely used to prevent the formation of plaque on teeth, for the treatment and prevention of infections of the gums, and as a general antiseptic cream and cleanser.

When the oral form is used for prolonged periods of time, considerable darkening of the enamel of the teeth can be observed. This is generally reversible.

Chlorhexidine is often combined with other local agents to broaden its spectrum of efficacy.

Rare systemic toxicity has been observed with prolonged use; when rinsing the solution should not be swallowed.

How does chlorhexidine gluconate work?

Fast facts

Drug schedule : Schedule 0

Available as: Cream and solution

What does it do? It is a broad-spectrum antiseptic and disinfectant

Overdose risk: Low

Dependence risk: Low

Available as a generic? No

Available on prescription only? No

User information

Onset of effect: Within 2 hours

Duration of action: Up to 12 hours

Stopping this medicine: This medication can be safely stopped when no longer needed

Prolonged use: The likelihood of adverse effects increases with prolonged use; prolonged use may cause discoloration of the teeth.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you are allergic to chlorhexidine.

Pregnancy: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: This medication is safe for use in children at the recommended dose.

Elderly: No special precautions need be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: No special precautions need be taken.

Alcohol: No special precautions need be taken.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Tissue numbness

x

x

Local stinging / burning

x

x

Altered sense of taste

x

x

Discoloration of teeth and tongue

x

x

Interactions

Drug interactions

Chlorhexidine is poorly absorbed, and any interactions are unlikely at therapeutic doses.

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you are allergic to chlorhexidine

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adult, oral rinse: 10 ml for 1 minute twice a day.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 
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