chlorhexidine topical (OTC)

Brand and Other Names:Betasept, Hibiclens, more...Hibistat, Exidine, BioScrub, Dyna-Hex
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Dosing & Uses

AdultPediatric

Dosing Form & Strengths

liquid/foam

  • 0.75%
  • 2%
  • 4%

lotion

  • 1%

swab

  • 3.15%

swabsticks

  • 2%
  • 3.15%

solution

  • 2%

towelette

  • 0.5% plus isopropyl alcohol 70%/5mL

sponge

  • 2%
  • 4%

Cleanser & Antiseptic

Indicated as a surgical hand scrub, wound cleanser, and preoperative skin cleanser

Surgical scrub: Scrub for 3 min, rinse and wash for another 3 min

Preoperative skin cleanser: Apply to surgical site and swab for 2 minutes, allow to dry, repeat once

Wound cleaning: Rinse area with water, apply to wound area and wash gently, and then rinse thoroughly

Hand sanitizer: Dispense in palm of one hand, dip fingetips of opposite hand into solution and work it under nails; spread remainder covering all surfaces of above elbow and over hand; repeat on other hand, allow to dry before using gloves

Hand wash: Wash for 15 seconds and rinse

Hand rinse: Rub 15 seconds and rinse

Safety and efficacy not established

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Adverse Effects

Frequency Not Defined

Irritation

Sensitization

Allergic reactions (particularly in genital areas)

Dyspnea

Nasal congestion

Facial edema

Postmarketing Reports

Allergic reaction (wheezing/difficulty breathing, shock, facial swelling, hives, rash)

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Warnings

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity

Cautions

External use only

Avoid contact with eyes

Serious allergic reactions reported, including anaphylaxis that can occur within minutes presenting as wheezing, difficulty breathing, facial edema, hives, severe rash, or hypotension and shock

Do not use for deep wound cleansing; avoid if wound involves more than superficial skin layers

Hearing loss reported when instilled in middle ear through perforated tympanic membrane

Use with care in premature infants or infants aged <2 months; potential for irritation or chemical burns

Avoid applying over large surfaces

Not for presurgery preparation of face or head

Product may cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include, wheezing/ difficulty breathing, shock, facial swelling, hives, and rash; if allergic reaction occurs, stop use and seek medical help right away

High alcohol containing lotions are flammable; keep away from fire or flames

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Pregnancy & Lactation

Pregnancy Category: B

Lactation: Unknown whether distributed in breast milk, LactMed states no toxicity observed in breastfed infants when topically applied

Pregnancy Categories

A: Generally acceptable. Controlled studies in pregnant women show no evidence of fetal risk.

B: May be acceptable. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies done and showed no risk.

C: Use with caution if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies not available or neither animal nor human studies done.

D: Use in LIFE-THREATENING emergencies when no safer drug available. Positive evidence of human fetal risk.

X: Do not use in pregnancy. Risks involved outweigh potential benefits. Safer alternatives exist.

NA: Information not available.

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Pharmacology

Mechanism of Action

Polybiguanide antiseptic and antimicrobial drug with bactericidal activity; at high concentrations of chlorhexidine the cytoplasmic contents of the bacterial cell precipitate and result in cell death

Pharmacokinetics

Duration of antibacterial protection: 6 hr

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Medscape prescription drug monographs are based on FDA-approved labeling information, unless otherwise noted, combined with additional data derived from primary medical literature.