chlorhexidine gluconate (generic name)

It oral rinse is used to treat gingivitis.
(klor HEX i deen)
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What is this medicine?

CHLORHEXIDINE (klor HEX i deen) oral rinse is used to treat gingivitis.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
  • front tooth fillings, dentures or other mouth appliances, especially those having rough surfaces
  • other gum or dental problems
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to chlorhexidine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine should be used immediately after brushing and flossing. Rinse all toothpaste completely from your mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. The cap on the original container may be used to measure the dose. If you do not have the cap, ask your pharmacist for a device to measure the dose. Swish the medicine in your mouth for 30 seconds. Do not swallow it. Use the medicine full strength. Do not mix with water before using. Do not eat or drink for several hours after using the rinse. This may decrease the effect of the medicine.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Interactions are not expected.

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your dentist every 6 months for dental cleanings and to check on your progress.

This medicine may have a bitter aftertaste. Do not rinse your mouth after using this medicine because that will increase the bitter taste. Rinsing will also decrease the effect of the medicine.

This medicine may change the way food tastes to you. This effect may last up to 4 hours after using the rinse. Usually this effect becomes less noticeable as you continue using the rinse. Your taste should return to normal after stopping the use of this medicine.

This medicine may increase tartar build-up and stain your teeth, dentures or fillings. Brush with a tartar control toothpaste and floss daily to help decrease the amount of tartar build-up and staining.

If a child accidentally drinks this medicine, get medical attention right away. Small children may have nausea and vomiting and signs of drunkenness.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or other health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or other health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • changes in taste or a metallic taste
  • more tartar build-up
  • mouth or tongue irritation
  • staining of teeth, fillings, dentures or other mouth appliances
  • swollen glands on side of face or neck

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep the medicine out of reach from children.

Store above 0 degrees C (32 degrees F). Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: March 25, 2009
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