chlorhexidine gluconate oral rinse

  • 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.

What is chlorhexidine-topical(mucous membrane), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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.

What brand names are available for chlorhexidine-topical(mucous membrane)?

Peridex, Periogard, Periochip

Is chlorhexidine-topical(mucous membrane) available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for chlorhexidine-topical(mucous membrane)?


What are the side effects of chlorhexidine-topical(mucous membrane)?

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.

What is the dosage for chlorhexidine-topical(mucous membrane)?

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.

Which drugs or supplements interact with chlorhexidine-topical(mucous membrane)?

There are no significant drug interactions with chlorhexidine.

Is chlorhexidine-topical(mucous membrane) safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies of safety and effectiveness of chlorhexidine in pregnant women.

It is not known whether chlorhexidine enters the breast milk or not; therefore, it is best to exercise caution before using it in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about chlorhexidine-topical(mucous membrane)?

What preparations of chlorhexidine-topical(mucous membrane) are available?

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.

How should I keep chlorhexidine-topical(mucous membrane) stored?

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


Chlorhexidine gluconate (Peridex, Periogard, Periochip) is a prescription antimicrobial and antiseptic oral rinse prescribed to treat gingivitis. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to using this medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


FDA Prescribing Information on Chlorhexidine.

Micromedex Drug Information™