Generic Name: chlorhexidine topical (klor HEX i deen TOP i kal)
Brand Name: Betasept, Biopatch, Calgon Vesta, Dyna-Hex, Hibiclens, Spectrum-4
What is Spectrum-4 (chlorhexidine topical)?
Chlorhexidine is an antiseptic that fights bacteria.
Chlorhexidine topical (for the skin) is used to clean the skin to prevent infection that may be caused by surgery, injection, or skin injury.
Chlorhexidine topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Spectrum-4 (chlorhexidine topical)?
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before using Spectrum-4 (chlorhexidine topical)?
You should not use chlorhexidine topical if you are allergic to it.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this medicine if you have any allergies to food, dyes, animals, or medicines.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether chlorhexidine topical will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
It is not known whether chlorhexidine topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed if you are using this medicine to treat a skin condition in the breast area.
Be very careful when using chlorhexidine topical on a child younger than 2 months old. This medication may cause severe irritation or chemical burns on a very young child.
How should I use Spectrum-4 (chlorhexidine topical)?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Do not take by mouth. Chlorhexidine topical is for use only on the skin.
Rinse the skin before applying chlorhexidine topical. Apply only enough medicine to cover the area you are treating. Do not apply this medicine to deep cuts, scrapes, or open skin wounds.
To use chlorhexidine topical soap, apply only enough to cover the area you are treating. Wash the area gently, then rinse thoroughly with plain water. Avoid using over large areas of skin.
This medicine is made under sterile conditions, but its contents are not sterilized. It is possible for bacteria to get inside the product and contaminate it, which could spread infection. To avoid contaminating your medicine with bacteria:
Use only the swab, pad, or applicator provided with your medicine.
If no applicator is provided, use only a clean cotton ball or cotton swab to apply this medicine.
Do not touch the tip of the medicine bottle with your fingers or touch it to your skin.
Do not dilute the medicine with water or other liquid.
Use the applicator (pad, swab, or other dressing) only once. Throw away after one use.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using chlorhexidine topical.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
If this medicine is packaged in a single-use foil wrapper or other container, use it only once. Throw away after one use, even if there is still medicine left in it. Do not save for later use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of chlorhexidine topical is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.
What should I avoid while using Spectrum-4 (chlorhexidine topical)?
Avoid getting this medicine in your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina. If this does happen, rinse with water.
Avoid using other medicines on the areas you treat with chlorhexidine topical unless your doctor tells you to.
Avoid getting this medicine on your clothing or other fabrics. Do not use bleach to wash any fabric exposed to chlorhexidine or the medicine may cause a permanent stain.
Spectrum-4 (chlorhexidine topical) side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using chlorhexidine topical and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe burning, itching, or redness;
blistering or peeling;
swelling or severe skin rash; or
any other severe irritation of treated skin.
Less serious side effects are more likely, and you may have none at all.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Spectrum-4 (chlorhexidine topical)?
It is not likely that other drugs you take orally or inject will have an effect on topically applied chlorhexidine. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
More about Spectrum-4 (chlorhexidine topical)
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about chlorhexidine topical.
- 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.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
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