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occurs as an odorless, bitter tasting

Chlorhexidine occurs as an odorless, bitter tasting, and white crystalline powder

Nonproprietary Names

BP: Chlorhexidine Acetate

  • Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution
  • Chlorhexidine Hydrochloride
JP: Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution

  • Chlorhexidine Hydrochloride
PhEur: Chlorhexidine Diacetate

  • Chlorhexidine Digluconate Solution
  • Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride

USP: Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution

Chlorhexidine is usually encountered as the acetate, gluconate, or hydrochloride salt, and a number of pharmacopeias contain monographs for such materials.


1, 6-bis [N0-(p-Chlorophenyl)-N 5-biguanido] hexane; N, N00-bis (4-chlorophenyl)-3,12-diimino-2,4,11,13-tetraazatetradecanediimidamide; chlorhexidini diacetas; chlorhexidini digluconatis solutio; chlorhexidini dihydrochloridum; 1,6-di(40-chlorophenyldiguanido) hexane; 1,1’-hexamethylene-bis[5-(p-chlorophenyl)biguanide].

Chemical Name and CAS Registry Number

1E-2-[6-[[amino-[[amino-[(4-chlorophenyl) amino]methylidene]amino] methylidene] amino] hexyl]-1-[amino-[(4-chlorophenyl) amino] methylidene]guanidine [55-56-1]

Empirical Formula and Molecular Weight: C22H30Cl2N10 505.48

Functional Category: Antimicrobial preservative; antiseptic.

Applications in Pharmaceutical Formulation or Technology

Chlorhexidine salts are widely used in pharmaceutical formulations in Europe and Japan for their antimicrobial properties. Although mainly used as disinfectants, chlorhexidine salts are also used as antimicrobial preservatives.

As excipients, chlorhexidine salts are mainly used for the preservation of eye-drops at a concentration of 0.01% w/v; generally the acetate or gluconate salt is used for this purpose. Solutions containing 0.002–0.006% w/v chlorhexidine gluconate have also been used for the disinfection of hydrophilic contact lenses.

For skin disinfection, chlorhexidine has been formulated as a 0.5% w/v solution in 70% v/v ethanol and, in conjunction with detergents, as a 4% w/v surgical scrub. Chlorhexidine salts may also be used in topical antiseptic creams, mouthwashes, dental gels, and in urology for catheter sterilization and bladder irrigation. Chlorhexidine salts have additionally been used as constituents of medicated dressings, dusting powders, sprays, and creams.

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