Commonly used brand name(s):
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antibacterial Cleansing Agent
Chlorhexidine belongs to a group of medicines called antiseptic antibacterial agents. It is used to clean the skin after an injury or before surgery. It works by killing or preventing the growth of bacteria on the skin .
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For chlorhexidine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to chlorhexidine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Because of chlorhexidine's potential for causing excessive skin irritation and the risk of increased drug absorption, use in children less than two months of age is not recommended .
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of chlorhexidine in geriatric patients .
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of chlorhexidine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
It is very important that you use chlorhexidine only as directed. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may cause irritation of the skin .
Chlorhexidine should only be used on the skin. Do not swallow it or use it in the eyes, ears, mouth, nose, genital area (sex organs), or anal area .
Follow your doctor's instructions about how to clean and care for your skin before and after you use chlorhexidine. Make sure you understand all of the directions, and ask questions if you find something is not clear .
If the medicine contains alcohol, avoid putting it on hairy areas of the body. Use it in a well-ventilated place. Do not use it near a fire, an electrical device, or if you are smoking .
The dose of chlorhexidine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of chlorhexidine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Check with your doctor if your skin problem becomes worse. Call your doctor if you develop a constant skin irritation, such as redness, itching or burning, in the area where you used chlorhexidine .
chlorhexidine should not be used on a regular basis on large areas of the body. Follow your doctor's instructions about how long to use chlorhexidine .
chlorhexidine may cause serious and permanent injury when placed in the eyes, ears, or mouth. Carefully follow all instructions before using chlorhexidine to prevent serious side effects .
chlorhexidine may cause a brown stain on clothing when chlorine is also present. These stains may not be removed by regular washing. Use only non-chlorine products to wash or bleach fabrics exposed to chlorhexidine. If the medicine has directions on the package about washing fabrics, follow them carefully .
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:Incidence not known
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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