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Generic name: povidone iodine topicalPO-vi-done-EYE-oh-dine-TOP-ik-al ]
Brand names: 3M Skin and Nasal Antiseptic, Betadine, Betadine Antiseptic Oral Rinse, Clinidine, Efodine, GRX-Dyne, Iodex
Drug classes: Antiseptic and germicides, Vaginal anti-infectives

Medically reviewed by on Feb 28, 2024. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Efodine?

There are many brands and forms of povidone iodine topical available. Not all brands are listed on this leaflet.

Efodine is used on the skin to treat or prevent skin infection in minor cuts, scrapes, or burns. Efodine is also used in a medical setting to help prevent infection and promote healing in skin wounds, pressure sores, or surgical incisions.

Some forms of povidone iodine topical are used inside the mouth to provide temporary relief of minor mouth pain or irritation, sore throat, or canker sore pain.

Efodine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Efodine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

This medicine may cause serious side effects. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

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.


Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Efodine if you are allergic to it.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if Efodine is safe to use if you have any medical conditions or allergies.

Do not use this medicine on a young child without medical advice.

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are breastfeeding, avoid applying this medicine to breast areas that may come into contact with the baby's mouth.

How should I use Efodine?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

Efodine is available in many different forms, such as a liquid, ointment, aerosol powder, cream, spray, swab, and soap. Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Always follow directions on the medicine label about using this medicine on a child. Some forms of povidone iodine topical should not be used in children of certain ages.

Efodine is usually applied to the skin as needed. First clean the area to be treated.

Shake Efodine spray well just before each use.

Allow the medicine to dry completely on the skin before applying a bandage. Do not apply a tight bandage.

Do not use this medicine on deep wounds, puncture wounds, animal bites, or serious burns. Do not apply over large skin areas.

When treating an infection, you may be given antibiotic medication to take by mouth. Use all medicines for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve.

Efodine used in the mouth may be used up to 4 times per day. How often you can use this medicine depends on what form you use. Follow all directions on the medicine label.

Do not use Efodine in the mouth if you are using a form that is made for use only on the skin.

To use Efodine spray in the mouth, spray directly into the mouth or throat. Leave the medicine in place for 15 seconds, then spit it out. Avoid swallowing the spray. Use once every 2 hours as needed.

To use Efodine as a mouth rinse, gargle or swish the liquid for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Do not swallow the liquid. Use up to 4 times per day.

You should not use Efodine for longer than 7 days without medical advice.

Call your doctor if your sore throat is severe or ongoing after 2 days, or if you also have a high fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

If you are using Efodine on your skin, seek medical advice if you have new or worsening symptoms of pain, redness, swelling, rash, or fever.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.

Each Efodine swab is for one use only.

Efodine can stain skin, teeth, and fabric. You may use rubbing alcohol to remove staining from your skin. Avoid getting alcohol onto a wound or irritated skin. Stains on fabric can be removed by rinsing with ammonia diluted with water. Avoid getting the medicine on jewelry, especially silver.

Efodine spray is flammable. Do not use near high heat or open flame. Do not smoke until the gel has completely dried on your skin.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Skip the missed dose and use your next dose at the regular time. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of Efodine 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 medicine.

Symptoms of overdose from swallowing Efodine may include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, extreme thirst, or being unable to urinate.

What should I avoid while using povidone iodine topical?

Do not get Efodine in your eyes. If contact does occur, rinse with water. Seek medical advice if you have ongoing eye irritation.

What other drugs will affect Efodine?

Medicine used on the skin is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.