Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Some of the chlorhexidine products will be used in a hospital or clinic setting. The medicine will be applied by a nurse or other trained health professional.

You may be instructed to use this medicine at home. It is very important that you use this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not use more of it, do not use it more often, and do not use it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may cause irritation of the skin.

Different forms of the medicine are used in different ways. Be sure you understand the directions for the product you are given before you use it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Follow your doctor's instructions about how to clean and care for your skin before and after you use this medicine. Make sure you understand all of the directions, and ask questions if you find something is not clear.

Chlorhexidine should only be used on the skin. Do not swallow it or get it in the eyes, ears, mouth, or nose. Do not use it on the genital area (sex organs) or anal area. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For topical dosage form (hand rinse or wipe, solution, or swabstick applicator):
    • To clean the hands (eg, Hibistat®):
      • The Hibistat® product contains large amounts of alcohol (70%) and is flammable. Apply the medicine in a well-ventilated place and do not use it while you are smoking.
      • Adults, teenagers, and children 2 months of age and older:
        • Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry your hands with a towel.
        • Rub the hands with the hand wipe for 15 seconds. Make sure to use the wipe under the fingernails and between the fingers. The medicine will dry quickly so you should not use a towel for drying. Do not wet your hands a second time.
        • Pour 1 teaspoonful (5 milliliters) of the hand rinse in your cupped hand. Rub the hands together for 15 seconds. Make sure to apply the rinse under the fingernails and between the fingers. The medicine will dry quickly so you should not use a towel for drying. Do not wet your hands a second time.
      • Children younger than 2 months of age—Use is not recommended.
    • To clean the skin or a wound (eg, Betasept®, Hibiclens®):
      • Adults, teenagers, and children 2 months of age and older—Rinse the area to be cleaned with water. Apply the smallest amount of liquid needed to cover the skin or wound area and wash gently. Thoroughly rinse the area again with water.
      • Children younger than 2 months of age—Use is not recommended.
    • To use before surgery or an injection (eg, Chloraprep®):
      • The Chloraprep® product contains large amounts of alcohol (70%) and is flammable. Do not use it on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes. Apply the medicine in a well-ventilated place and do not use it while you are smoking.
      • Adults, teenagers, and children 2 months of age and older:
        • Open the pouch and use the handle to remove the swabstick applicator. Do not touch the applicator tip. Rub the applicator on the skin with the flat side against the skin. Use a back and forth motion for 30 seconds.
        • Make sure the skin is completely wet. Let the skin air dry for one minute. Do not use a towel for drying.
        • Do not cover the treated area until the skin is completely dry. This is usually one minute or longer for hairless skin. If you must apply the medicine to a hairy area of the body, wipe the area with a towel to remove extra medicine.
      • Children younger than 2 months of age—Use is not recommended.

Storage

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

The Chloraprep® and Hibistat® products contain large amounts of alcohol (70%) and are flammable. Do not store them near a flame, heater, or electrical device.