chlorhexidine gluconate oral rinse (Peridex, Periogard, Periochip)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

GENERIC NAME: chlorhexidine gluconate

BRAND NAME: Peridex, Periogard, Periochip

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic and antimicrobial oral rinse. It provides protection against a wide range of bacteria. It kills bacteria by binding to bacteria cell walls. The FDA approved chlorhexidine in August 1986.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Chlorhexidine is commonly prescribed orally for treating gingivitis which causes redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums.

It also is used after rooting and planning procedures for adult periodontitis.

Its safety and efficacy has not been established for patients with acute necrotizing ulcerating gingivitis (ANUG).

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of chlorhexidine include:

  • staining of the teeth and other oral areas,
  • dental tartar (dental calculus),
  • altered sense of taste,
  • toothache, and
  • oral mucosal irritation.

Cases of parotid gland swelling and inflammation of the salivary glands (sialadenitis) have been reported.



PREPARATIONS: Chlorhexidine gluconate is available in a 0.12% concentration as an oral rinse solution. Most commonly it is available in a 16 fluid ounce (473 ml) child-resistant dispensing container.

Other sizes that are available are 0.5 fluid ounce (15 ml) and 4 fluid ounce (118 ml) in a child-resistant dispensing container. A 64 fluid ounce (1893 ml) is available in a pump-dispensing container. It also is available as a 2.5 mg chip.

STORAGE: Chlorhexidine gluconate should be store at room temperature between 15 C to 30 C F (59 F to 86 F).

DOSING AND ADMINISTRATION: Usually the mouth is rinsed with 15 ml (1 Tbsp) of undiluted chlorhexidine twice daily (morning and evening) for 30 seconds after brushing.

Individuals must expectorate the chlorhexidine after rinsing and must not rinse their mouths with water or mouthwashes, brush their teeth, or eat immediately after using chlorhexidine.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/23/2015

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