The text below is about the active substance Chlorhexidine.
what is chlorhexidine?
- Chlorhexidine is a disinfectant. It kills many of the bacteria found in the oral cavity. These bacteria can cause inflammation or tooth decay (cavities).
- In case of infection in the mouth. Also to prevent mouth infections if you are not able to brush properly.
- Toothpaste makes chlorhexidine ineffective. Therefore, use chlorhexidine after brushing your teeth or wait half an hour after use before brushing.
- Mouthwash: rinse your mouth with 10 ml of liquid twice a day for 1 minute. Then spit out the liquid. Do not swallow.
- Mouth spray: spray the spray on your gums twice a day. Do not get the spray in your eyes.
- Tooth gel: brush twice a day with 2.5 cm of gel on a damp toothbrush.
- Your tongue, teeth, fillings and dentures may turn brown. This usually goes away when you stop taking chlorhexidine.
Chlorhexidine kills many types of bacteria that exist in the oral cavity and can cause inflammation or tooth decay.
It is used for or to prevent infections in the mouth .
An infection in the mouth is an inflammation of the oral mucosa, tongue, teeth or gums. Usually there is an inflammation of the gums.
With a mouth infection you have pain in the mouth, tongue, teeth or gums. The inflamed area is red and swollen. Sometimes it bleeds. A mouth infection can cause bad breath.
Dental plaque is also created by the action of bacteria. Dental plaque consists of a build-up of bacteria and sugars on the surface of the teeth. Plaque can cause cavities, so it should be removed daily by brushing or flossing.
Chlorhexidine is used to treat
- treat mouth infections, for example gum disease;
- prevent infections of wounds in the mouth. For example after dental or oral procedures;
- Prevent plaque build-up when brushing your teeth is not possible, as is sometimes the case when using braces or after oral surgery.
Operation and effect
Chlorhexidine kills many types of bacteria and inhibits the growth of fungi and yeasts. The effect starts immediately and lasts as long as the medicine is in the mouth.
In the package leaflet you can find that chlorhexidine in the mouth is used in:
- children from 5 years with infections in the mouth or to prevent infections in the mouth.
Chlorhexidine for the mouth is officially registered for these conditions and age. Registration means that the manufacturer has extensively researched chlorhexidine for the mouth in children. The government has subsequently approved that the drug is available. The manufacturer’s research shows that it works in children and is safe.
Chlorhexidine for the mouth has also been studied in:
- children under 5 years of age with infections in the mouth or to prevent infections in the mouth;
- children with severe inflammation of the oral mucosa during chemotherapy and radiation .
These conditions and ages are not listed in the package insert. But also in these cases, chlorhexidine appears to work in the mouth and is safe. That is why the doctor prescribes chlorhexidine in the mouth also in children with these conditions and of these ages. This is called off-label use. Chlorhexidine should not be swallowed. Therefore, be careful when using it on young children. They are more likely to swallow the drug. See also instructions for administration to young children under the heading ‘How should your child take this medicine?’.
Chlorhexidine kills many types of bacteria and inhibits the growth of fungi and yeasts.
In addition to the desired effect, this drug can cause side effects. The side effects are local.
The main side effects are the following.
Sometimes (affects 10 to 30 in 100 people)
- Tongue, teeth, fillings and dentures can discolor yellow-brown to black-brown . The color will usually go away on its own when you stop using chlorhexidine. If not, the dentist can fix the discoloration. The discoloration is stronger if you have drunk tea, coffee or red wine just before using chlorhexidine. You can combat this discoloration by brushing your teeth after tea, coffee, or red wine before using chlorhexidine.
Rare (affects 1 to 10 in 100 people)
- Burning tongue.
- Dry oral mucosa.
- Changes in taste , this will pass on its own when you stop taking this medicine.
Consult your doctor if you experience too much of any of the above side effects or if you experience any other side effects that worry you.
- Regular : affects more than 30 in 100 people
- Uncommon : affects 10 to 30 in 100 people
- Rare : affects 1 to 10 in 100 people
- Very rare : affects less than 1 in 100 people
Always look for the correct dosage on the label of the pharmacy or in the package insert.
- Mouthwash: rinse the oral cavity twice a day with 10 milliliters for 1 minute and then spit it out. If necessary, you can rinse with a mixture of 5 milliliters of mouthwash and 5 milliliters of tap water that you have mixed immediately before use. Don’t swallow it. If you wear dentures, remove them before rinsing your mouth. You must clean the dentures and then place them in the flushing liquid for 15 minutes.
- Mouth spray: spray the spray twice a day on the gums to be treated. Make sure you do not inhale it or get it in the eyes. If it does get into the eyes, rinse immediately with water.
- Tooth gel: brush twice a day with 2.5 cm of gel on a moistened toothbrush. The gel is a supplement to regular toothpaste and not a replacement.
- Use this medicine immediately after brushing your teeth, or make sure that you do not brush your teeth for half an hour after using it. The ingredients from the toothpaste can render chlorhexidine ineffective.
- After dental procedures, you will usually receive this medicine for 1 to 2 weeks. In case of inflammation of the gums, treatment can take up to a month. With braces (‘clasps’) and the like it can be used as long as brushing your teeth is difficult. Consult with the orthodontist about this.
- Contact your doctor if you have a high fever for more than 3 days, you get increasingly sicker, you can no longer swallow properly, or if you develop a rash on your face or trunk in addition to a sore throat.
How should your child use this medicine?
Always look for the correct dosage on the label of the pharmacy or in the package insert.
Below you will find per dosage form how your child can best use the medicine.
- Mouthwash :
- In children under 5 years old : apply the rinse to the gums with a brush. Ask your pharmacy for a brush for this.
- In children 5 years and older : Have your child rinse with 10 milliliters of mouthwash for 1 minute. Then have your child spit out the rinse. If necessary, you can rinse with a mixture of 5 milliliters of mouthwash and 5 milliliters of tap water that you have mixed immediately before use. Do not let your child swallow it.
- Mouth spray: spray the spray on the gums to be treated. Make sure that you or your child do not inhale or get them in the eyes. If it does get into the eyes, rinse immediately with water.
Follow the doctor’s instructions on how often your child should take this medicine. Do not let your child use this medicine just before brushing their teeth. It is best right after brushing your teeth. The substances from the toothpaste can make chlorhexidine ineffective.
The treatment usually lasts about 1 month. With braces (‘clasps’) and the like it can be used as long as brushing your teeth is difficult. Consult with the orthodontist about this.
Contact your doctor if your child:
- has a high fever for more than 3 days. In case of a child younger than 3 months, please contact the doctor immediately;
- getting sicker;
- can no longer swallow properly;
- if your child develops a rash on the face or trunk in addition to a sore throat.
What if I miss a dose?
Forgetting once is not so bad. You can always catch up. Unless it is almost time for the next treatment. Then skip the forgotten treatment and resume your normal schedule.
driving a car?
- There are no restrictions for this.
- Red wine: did you drink red wine before using this medicine? Then brush your teeth well before using chlorhexidine. This will reduce discoloration of your tongue, teeth, fillings and prostheses.
- Coffee and tea: did you drink tea or coffee before using this medicine? Then brush your teeth well before using chlorhexidine. This will reduce discoloration of your tongue, teeth, fillings and prostheses.
Normal toothpaste makes this agent ineffective. Therefore always brush either just before using chlorhexidine or at least half an hour afterwards.
- You can use this medicine safely. It has been used by pregnant and breastfeeding women for many years without harming the child.
- Are you on prescription or over-the-counter medications? Would you like to help increase knowledge about medication use during pregnancy and breastfeeding? Then report your experience to pREGnant .
You can stop taking this medicine at any time. Any infection can come back after some time. If you notice this, contact the doctor.
- Corsodyl .
- Sodium fluoride / Chlorhexidine FNA .
- Chlorhexidine FNA mouthwash.
Chlorhexidine for the mouth is available for children in:
- mouth spray;
Chlorhexidine is also available in cream, gel, lotion, spray, soap and application liquid. See the text chlorhexidine for on the skin of children.
Chlorhexidine has been on the international market since 1954. It is available in mouthwash, mouth spray and dental gel. It is available without a prescription under the brand name Corsodyl and as unbranded pharmacy-made products containing chlorhexidine (Chlorhexidine FNA mouthwash).
It is also available for use on the skin in cream, gel, lotion, spray, soap and application liquid. See the text Chlorhexidine for on the skin .
Chlorhexidine is also available in combination with another active ingredient, called Sodium Fluoride / Chlorhexidine mouthwash FNA. This text is only about chlorhexidine.
Would you like to know more about the price and reimbursement of your medicine?
- Then read on in the theme: Medicine prices and reimbursements .