Chlorhexidine: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Price, Composition, Precautions & More

Chlorhexidine: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Price, Composition, Precautions & More

What is Chlorhexidine?

  • Chlorhexidine is also known as chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG).
  • It is a disinfectant and antiseptic that is used for skin disinfection before surgery and to sterilize surgical instruments.
  • This drug is also used for cleaning wounds, preventing dental plaque, treating yeast infections of the mouth, and to keep urinary catheters from blocking.
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Uses of Chlorhexidine

Chlorhexidine is prescribed for:

  • Gingivitis
  • Mucositis
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How does Chlorhexidine work?

  • Chlorhexidine salts dissociate, at particular pH and release the positively charged chlorhexidine cation.
  • The bactericidal effect is a result of binding of this cationic molecule to negatively charged bacterial cell walls.
  • At low concentrations of chlorhexidine, this results in a bacteriostatic effect and at high concentrations, membrane disruption results in cell death.

How to take Chlorhexidine?

  • Chlorhexidine is administered orally in the form of liquid to rinse the mouth.
  • Rinse your mouth with chlorhexidine twice daily after brushing your teeth.
  • Measure the dose using the cup provided with the medication.
  • Swish the medicine in your mouth for at least 30 seconds, then spit it out and do not swallow it.
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Common dosage of Chlorhexidine

Rinse your mouth with chlorhexidine for 30 seconds.

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When to avoid Chlorhexidine & Precautions to take?

  • Avoid using Chlorhexidine if you are allergic to it or any other inactive ingredients present along with it.
  • This medication is not recommended for use in pediatric patients.
  • Use of Chlorhexidine may cause calculus deposits in the teeth, especially in the oral rinse users.
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Side Effects of Chlorhexidine

  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Skin peeling
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Inflammation of gum
  • Tooth pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Staining of tooth
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Calcium deposits on tooth
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Effect on organs?

  • Gastrointestinal reactions- Toothache, dry mouth, glossodynia, oral paresthesia, dyspepsia, ulcerative stomatitis, gum hyperplasia.
  • Respiratory reactions- Upper respiratory tract infection, sinusitis, bronchitis, pharyngitis.
  • Nervous system reactions- Ageusia or dysgeusia, hypoesthesia.
  • Musculoskeletal reactions- Arthrosis, tendinitis.

 Reported allergic reactions?

Allergic reactions, although rare may include:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fever
  • Swelling of face, throat, hands/legs

Drug interactions to be careful about?

It is not likely that other drugs will have an effect on chlorhexidine oral rinse. But if taking other drugs, ask your doctor regarding any interaction.

Shows effects

Use of chlorhexidine results in reducing the bacterial count on the surfaces within the mouth.

 Storage Requirements for Chlorhexidine

  • Keep it in an air-tight container.
  • Keep it away from direct light or moisture.
  • Keep it out of reach of children.

Pro Tips when taking Chlorhexidine

  • It is recommended to remove calculus deposits by a dentist every six months.
  • Do not swallow this medication and do not rinse your mouth with water after the use of this medication.
  • Avoid eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth just after using this mouth rinse.
  • If put into an ear canal having a ruptured ear drum, it can lead to deafness.


Is Chlorhexidine addictive?


Can I have Chlorhexidine with alcohol?

Ask your doctor.

Any particular food item to be avoided?


Can I have Chlorhexidine when pregnant?

Yes; only if benefit outweigh the risks.

Can I have Chlorhexidine when feeding a baby?

Yes; only if benefit outweigh the risks.

Can I drive after taking Chlorhexidine?


What happens if I overdose on Chlorhexidine?

Overdose of chlorhexidine may cause gastric distress, nausea, and vomiting.

What happens if I eat expired Chlorhexidine?

Expired Chlorhexidine may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions, thus to be on the safe side, it is important not to use expired drug.

What happens if I miss a dose of Chlorhexidine?

If you miss a dose of Chlorhexidine, skip it and continue with your normal schedule. Do not double dose for a missed one.



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