Biguanide antiseptic and disinfectant active against a broad spectrum of bacteria, mycobacteria, viruses and fungi.
50 cases reported between 1967 and 1984:
22 with hypotension, 13 with dyspnea, 9 with anaphylactic shock, 4 with cyanosis.
For anaphylactic reactions: contact dermatitis to chlorhexidine.
General: anaphylactic shock.
Respiratory: bronchospasm, occupational asthma.
Cutaneous: pruritus, erythema, urticaria, contact dermatitis, photosensitive dermatitis, fixed drug eruption.
Anaphylactic reactions have been reported after urinary catheterization, disinfection of a drain insertion site, topical application of a dressing on a burn, and placement of a central venous catheter.
Skin-prick tests: 0.005% to 0.05%.
Intradermal skin-tests: 0.02 ml at 0.0002% to 0.002% concentrations.
Positive in anaphylaxis cases.
Patch-tests 1%: positive in contact dermatitis.
Specific IgE (RAST).
Histamine release test.
Avoidance in allergic patients.
Do not use chlorhexidine gluconate on mucosa.
Use at lowest bactericidal concentration (0.05%) on wound surfaces.