Chlorhexidine gluconate

Brand names: Peridex

Why is Chlorhexidine gluconate prescribed?

Peridex is an oral rinse used to treat gingivitis, a condition in which the gums become red and swollen. Peridex is also used to control gum bleeding caused by gingivitis.

Most important fact about Chlorhexidine gluconate

Peridex may stain front-tooth fillings, especially those with a rough surface. These stains have no adverse effect on the gums, and usually can be removed by a professional cleaning.

How should you take Chlorhexidine gluconate?

You should get a thorough dental cleaning and examination before beginning treatment with Peridex.

After brushing, thoroughly rinsing, and flossing your teeth, rinse with Peridex by swishing one-half fluid ounce (marked in the cap) around in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Do not dilute Peridex and do not rinse with water or mouthwash, eat, brush your teeth, or drink immediately after using Chlorhexidine gluconate.

  • If you miss a dose...Resume your regular schedule the next time you brush.
  • Storage instructions...Protect from freezing.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue using Peridex.

  • Side effects may include:Change in taste, increase in plaque, staining of teeth, mouth, tooth fillings, dentures, or other appliances in the mouth

Why should Chlorhexidine gluconate not be prescribed?

Unless you are directed to do so by your doctor, do not use Peridex if you have shown sensitivity to or are allergic to it.

Special warnings about Chlorhexidine gluconate

If you have both gingivitis and periodontitis (disease of the tissue that supports and attaches the teeth), remember that Peridex is used only for gingivitis. Periodontitis may require additional treatment by your doctor or dentist.

The use of Peridex may leave a bitter after-taste. Rinsing your mouth with or drinking water after using Peridex may increase the bitterness.

In addition to staining, Peridex can also cause an excess of tartar build-up on your teeth. It is recommended that you have your teeth cleaned at least every 6 months.

Foods may taste different to you for several hours after rinsing with Peridex. In most cases, this effect becomes less noticeable after continued use. Taste should return to normal when treatment with Peridex is finished.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Chlorhexidine gluconate

No interactions with other drugs have been reported.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Peridex during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is not known whether Chlorhexidine gluconate appears in breast milk. If it is essential for you to use Peridex, your doctor may advise you to stop breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage for Chlorhexidine gluconate


The usual dose of undiluted Peridex is one-half fluid ounce. Rinse for 30 seconds twice a day, morning and evening, after brushing. Peridex should be spit out after rinsing and never swallowed.


The effectiveness and safety of Peridex have not been established in children under 18 years of age.


If you suspect that a child of 22 pounds or less has swallowed 4 or more ounces of Peridex, seek medical attention immediately.

Also seek immediate medical attention if any child shows signs of alcohol intoxication such as slurred speech, staggering, or sleepiness, and you suspect he or she has swallowed Peridex.

If a small child swallows 1 or 2 ounces of Peridex, he or she may have an upset stomach and nausea.

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  • Peridex Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Peridex oral rinse Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
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