Chlorhexidine Gluconate

Authored by: Daryl S. Paulson

Handbook of Topical Antimicrobials

Print publication date:  September  2002
Online publication date:  September  2002

Print ISBN: 9780824707880
eBook ISBN: 9780203909256
Adobe ISBN:


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Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) was first synthesized in 1950 by ICI Pharmaceutical in England [1]. CHG was found to have high levels of antimicrobial activity, but relatively low levels of toxicity to mammalian cells [1,2]. Additionally, CHG has a strong affinity for skin and mucous membranes. As a result, it has been used quite effectively as a topical antimicrobial for wounds, skin prepping, and mucous membranes (especially in dentistry), where it provides, by virtue of its proclivity for binding to the tissues, extended antimicrobial properties. CHG also has value as a product preservative, including for ophthalmic solutions, and as a disinfectant of medical instruments and hard surfaces.

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