What is Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical) used for?
Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic that fights bacteria. Hibiclens® is used to clean the skin to prevent infection that may be caused by surgery, injection, or skin injury.
Hibiclens® may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
How should I take Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical)?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Do not take by mouth. Chlorhexidine topical is for use only on the skin.
Rinse the skin before applying chlorhexidine topical. Apply only enough medicine to cover the area you are treating. Do not apply this medicine to deep cuts, scrapes, or open skin wounds.
To use chlorhexidine topical soap, apply only enough to cover the area you are treating. Wash the area gently, then rinse thoroughly with plain water. Avoid using over large areas of skin.
This medicine is made under sterile conditions, but its contents are not sterilized. It is possible for bacteria to get inside the product and contaminate it, which could spread infection. To avoid contaminating your medicine with bacteria:
- Use only the swab, pad, or applicator provided with your medicine.
- If no applicator is provided, use only a clean cotton ball or cotton swab to apply this medicine.
- Do not touch the tip of the medicine bottle with your fingers or touch it to your skin.
- Do not dilute the medicine with water or other liquid.
- Use the applicator (pad, swab, or other dressing) only once. Throw away after one use.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using chlorhexidine topical.
If this medicine is packaged in a single-use foil wrapper or other container, use it only once. Throw away after one use, even if there is still medicine left in it. Do not save for later use.
How do I store Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical)?
Hibiclens® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Hibiclens® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Hibiclens® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Hibiclens® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical)?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Hibiclens® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
Chlorhexidine can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction that may be life-threatening. Get emergency medical help if you have: hives, severe skin rash; wheezing, difficult breathing; cold sweats, feeling light-headed; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Avoid getting this medicine in your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina. If this does happen, rinse with water.
Avoid using other medicines on the areas you treat with chlorhexidine topical unless your doctor tells you to.
Avoid getting this medicine on your clothing or other fabrics. Do not use bleach to wash any fabric exposed to chlorhexidine or the medicine may cause a permanent stain.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Hibiclens® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Hibiclens®. Hibiclens® is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical)?
Chlorhexidine can cause a rare but serious allergic reaction that may be life-threatening. Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, severe skin rash; wheezing, difficult breathing; cold sweats, feeling light-headed; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using chlorhexidine topical and call your doctor at once if you have:
- Severe burning, itching, or redness
- Blistering or peeling
- Swelling or severe skin rash
- Any other severe irritation of treated skin
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical)?
Hibiclens® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Does food or alcohol interact with Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical)?
Hibiclens® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical)?
Hibiclens® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical).
What is the dose of Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical) for an adult?
Rinse area, apply minimum amount to cover area, wash area and rinse thoroughly.
What is the dose of Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical) for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Hibiclens® (chlorhexidine topical) available?
Hibiclens® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Hibiclens®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: October 23, 2017 | Last Modified: December 19, 2019