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Acclean Side Effects

Generic name: chlorhexidine topical

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 28, 2021.

Note: This document contains side effect information about chlorhexidine topical. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Acclean.

For the Consumer

Applies to chlorhexidine topical: oral liquid, oral solution

Other dosage forms:

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, chlorhexidine topical (the active ingredient contained in Acclean) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking chlorhexidine topical:


Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of chlorhexidine topical may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Change in taste
  • increase in tartar (calculus) on teeth
  • staining of teeth, mouth, tooth fillings, and dentures or other mouth appliances

Less common or rare

  • Mouth irritation
  • swollen glands on side of face or neck
  • tongue tip irritation

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to chlorhexidine topical: compounding liquid, mucous membrane insert, mucous membrane liquid, topical dressing, topical liquid, topical pad, topical soap, topical solution, topical sponge


The most commonly reported side effects include toothache, tongue coating, skin irritation and hypersensitivity reactions.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Toothache (up to 50.7%)

Common (1% to 10%): Dry mouth, glossodynia, oral paresthesia, dyspepsia, ulcerative stomatitis, gum hyperplasia

Frequency not reported: Mouth irritation, coated tongue, desquamation/superficial desquamation/oral mucosa swelling, parotid gland swelling, burning sensation of the tongue, increased dental calculus formation, aphthous ulcer, gingivitis/grossly obvious gingivitis, geographic tongue, tooth disorder, dental/gingival/mouth pain, broken/cracked/fractured teeth, mobile teeth, lost bridges/crowns/fillings, discoloration of the teeth, gums, and dorsum of the tongue

Postmarketing reports: Stomatitis, glossitis, ulcer, glossal edema, sialadenitis/inflammation of the salivary glands[Ref]

Toothache occurred most often in patients receiving the periodontal chip, and included dental/gingival/mouth pain, tenderness, aching, throbbing, soreness, discomfort, or sensitivity.

Tooth disorder occurred most often in patients receiving the periodontal chip, and included broken/cracked/fractured teeth, mobile teeth, and lost bridges/crowns/fillings.[Ref]


Bronchospasm occurred with hypersensitivity reactions.

Upper respiratory tract infection and sinusitis have occurred most commonly in patients receiving the periodontal chip.[Ref]

Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory tract infection (up to 28.4%), sinusitis (up to 13.8%)

Common (1% to 10%): Bronchitis, pharyngitis

Frequency not reported: Bronchospasm, rhinitis, coughing, dyspnea[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Ageusia/dysgeusia, hypoesthesia

Frequency not reported: Transient dysgeusia, headache, loss of consciousness

Postmarketing reports: Hypesthesia, paresthesia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Arthrosis, tendinitis

Frequency not reported: Back pain, myalgia, arthralgia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Ulceration, desquamation, keratinization, mucocele, short frenum, pain, tenderness, aching, throbbing, soreness, discomfort, sensitivity

Postmarketing reports: Minor irritation[Ref]


Rash, erythema, and urticaria occurred with hypersensitivity reactions.

Dermatitis, pruritus, erythema, eczema, rash, urticaria, skin irritation, and blisters occurred with allergic skin reactions.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Rash, erythema/generalized erythema, urticaria, dermatitis, pruritus, eczema, skin irritation, blisters, cold sweat, irritative or allergic skin reactions[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Chemical burns in neonates, trauma, abscess, influenza-like symptoms, deafness, sensitive tissue irritation[Ref]


Cardiac arrest, circulatory collapse, hypotension, and tachycardia occurred as hypersensitivity reactions.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Cardiac arrest, circulatory collapse, hypotension, tachycardia, hypertension[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Anaphylactic shock, anaphylactoid reactions/fatal anaphylactic reactions

Postmarketing reports: Hypersensitivity and anaphylaxis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Irreversible corneal damage, irritation to the conjunctiva[Ref]

Exposure of the eye to chlorhexidine cleanser, generally during preparation for facial surgery, has resulted in eye pain, edema of the epithelium, keratitis, inflammation of the conjunctiva, corneal epithelial cell loss, chronic corneal ulcers, and opacification. Corneal transplantation to correct permanent damage has been required in some patients.

Allergic conjunctivitis is rarely associated with the use of contact lens solutions which contain low concentrations of chlorhexidine as a preservative.[Ref]


Hematuria occurred after bladder irrigation.[Ref]

Frequency not reported: Dysmenorrhea, hematuria[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Allergy[Ref]

More about Acclean (chlorhexidine topical)

Consumer resources

Other brands
Peridex, Hibiclens, Tegaderm CHG Dressing, ChloraPrep One-Step, ... +12 more

Professional resources

Related treatment guides


1. "Product Information. Chlorhexidine Gluconate (chlorhexidine topical)." A-S Medication Solutions, Chicago, IL.

2. "Product Information. Peridex (chlorhexidine)." Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Cincinnati, OH.

3. "Product Information. Biopatch (chlorhexidine topical)." Johnson and Johnson Medical Inc, Arlington, TX.

4. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

5. "Product Information. Hibiclens (chlorhexidine topical)." Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, DE.

6. "Product Information. Periochip (chlorhexidine topical)." Astra USA, Westborough, MA.

7. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.