Corsodyl mouthwash (Chlorhexidine)

How does it work?

Corsodyl mouthwash contains the active ingredient chlorhexidine, which is an antiseptic and disinfectant agent. (NB. Chlorhexidine mouthwash is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.)

Chlorhexidine is active against various bacteria, viruses, bacterial spores and fungi. It kills the micro-organisms associated with various mouth and throat infections, and other common conditions in the mouth. This includes the Candida albicans fungi that cause thrush infection in the mouth, and bacteria that may infect mouth ulcers or other sore areas in the mouth, for example following dental surgery. Infection of these areas increases discomfort and delays healing.

Chlorhexidine has also been shown to prevent the formation and build up of plaque on teeth, which helps prevent inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). It can therefore be used as an aid to oral hygiene, particularly in instances where toothbrushing is a problem, for example following dental surgery or in people who are physically or mentally disabled.

The action of rinsing the mouth with the mouthwash provides a mechanical cleaning action in the mouth. It also kills micro-organisms in the areas it is in contact with and helps maintain oral hygiene. 10ml of the mouthwash should be used to thoroughly rinse the mouth for about one minute twice a day.

The mouthwash can also be used in the management of mouth inflammation caused by denture rubbing. In this case, the dentures should be cleaned and soaked for 15 minutes twice a day in the mouthwash.

What is it used for?

  • Aid for preventing build-up of plaque on the teeth and maintaining oral hygiene.
  • Prevention and treatment of gum disease (gingivitis).
  • Promoting gum healing after dental surgery.
  • Management of mouth ulcers (apthous ulcers).
  • Management of oral thrush (candidosis).
  • Management of inflammation of the lining of the mouth due to irritation from dentures.


  • Corsodyl mouthwash should be used as directed to rinse the mouth. It should then be spat out, not swallowed (although accidental swallowing is unlikely to cause harm).
  • Chlorhexidine is incompatible with certain ingredients of conventional toothpastes. For this reason, after using toothpaste to brush your teeth, you should wait for at least 30 minutes or rinse your mouth with water before you use this mouthwash. Alternatively use the mouthwash at a different time of day to when you brush your teeth.
  • Avoid getting the mouthwash in contact with the eyes and ears. If you accidentally get it in your eyes, rinse them immediately with plenty of water.
  • If you are using this mouthwash in the treatment of mouth ulcers or oral thrush infections, you should keep using it for two days after your symptoms have cleared up. This will ensure any remaining micro-organisms are killed and thus help avoid the condition coming back.
  • Avoid bleaching fabrics which have been in contact with this mouthwash, as brown stains may develop.

Not to be used in

  • Allergy to chlorhexidine.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.

  • This mouthwash is not known to be harmful if used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Side effects

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Temporary taste disturbance.
  • Burning sensation on the tongue.
  • Non-permanent staining of the tongue.
  • Brown staining of the teeth. This is not permanent and can largely be avoided by brushing the teeth before using the mouthwash (but see also warning section above), or in the case of dentures, using a conventional denture cleaner. Where normal brushing is not possible, or if any staining remains, your teeth may need scaling and polishing by your dentist after you have finished using the mouthwash.
  • Peeling of the inside of the mouth. If you notice this you should dilute the mouthwash with an equal volume of tap water before using it to rinse your mouth.
  • Swelling of the salivary glands.
  • Skin irritation.

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How can this medicine affect other medicines?

This medicine is not known to affect other medicines.

Other medicines containing the same active ingredient

Corsodyl dental gel Corsodyl spray

Chlorhexidine mouthwash is also available without a brand name, ie as the generic medicine.