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This medication is used along with regular tooth brushing/flossing to treat gingivitis, a gum disease that causes red, swollen, and easily bleeding gums. Chlorhexidine belongs to a class of drugs known as antimicrobials. It works by decreasing the amount of bacteria in the mouth, helping to reduce swelling and redness of the gums and bleeding when you brush.
Rinse your mouth with the solution after brushing your teeth, usually twice daily (after breakfast and at bedtime) or as directed by your doctor.
Measure 1/2 ounce (15 milliliters) of the solution using the supplied measuring cup. Swish the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds, and then spit it out.
Do not swallow the solution or mix it with any other substance. After using chlorhexidine, wait at least 30 minutes before rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash, brushing your teeth, eating, or drinking.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day. It may take up to 6 weeks to see the full benefits of using this medication.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Tooth/tongue staining, increased tartar, mouth/throat irritation, dry mouth, and change in taste of food/drinks may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To decrease staining of teeth and mouth surfaces, brush with toothpaste 3 times daily, brushing more on the stained areas. Use of a "tartar control" toothpaste and electric toothbrush may be more effective. See your dentist at least every 6 months for tooth cleaning/tartar removal. Staining from this medication that may occur on dental work (such as crowns or veneers) usually can only be removed by a dentist/hygienist. To decrease the effect on how food tastes, eat first, followed by tooth brushing and then chlorhexidine rinse.
Remember that your doctor/dentist has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: mouth or skin rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before using chlorhexidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: dental crowns, veneers, or fillings (especially if on the front teeth and if made of porcelain).
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Refer to storage information printed on the bottle for the exact temperature range. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Store the solution only in the original brown bottle provided by your pharmacist. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor or pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Chlorhexidine rinse is not likely to cause drug interactions, even if accidentally swallowed. However, be careful not to swallow this medication because doing so may increase side effects.
Keep a list of all the products you use. Share the list with your doctor and pharmacist to reduce your risk for serious medication problems.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember unless it is close to a mealtime or near the time for the next dose. In those cases, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
Keep all medical/dental appointments so that your progress can be followed. Consult your doctor/dentist for more details.