This medication is used along with regular tooth brushing/flossing to treat gingivitis, a gum disease that causes red, swollen, and easily bleeding gums. Chlorhexidine belongs to a class of drugs known as antimicrobials. It works by decreasing the amount of bacteria in the mouth, helping to reduce swelling and redness of the gums and bleeding when you brush.
How to use Chlorhexidine Gluconate Mouthwash
Measure 1/2 ounce (15 milliliters) of the solution using the supplied measuring cup. Swish the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds, and then spit it out.
Do not swallow the solution or mix it with any other substance. After using chlorhexidine, wait at least 30 minutes before rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash, brushing your teeth, eating, or drinking.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day. It may take up to 6 weeks to see the full benefits of using this medication.
Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.
Tooth/tongue staining, increased tartar, mouth/throat irritation, dry mouth, and change in taste of food/drinks may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To decrease staining of teeth and mouth surfaces, brush with toothpaste 3 times daily, brushing more on the stained areas. Use of a "tartar control" toothpaste and electric toothbrush may be more effective. See your dentist at least every 6 months for tooth cleaning/tartar removal. Staining from this medication that may occur on dental work (such as crowns or veneers) usually can only be removed by a dentist/hygienist. To decrease the effect on how food tastes, eat first, followed by tooth brushing and then chlorhexidine rinse.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor or dentist has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: mouth or skin rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using chlorhexidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember unless it is close to a mealtime or near the time for the next dose. In those cases, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.