Check Your Skin Care Products for This Ingredient

Chlorhexidine gluconate skin products get allergic reaction warning from FDA

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(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning for certain over-the-counter (OTC) skin products.

According to the warning, some people have reported rare but serious allergic reactions with the use of antiseptic skin products (skin cleansers) that contain chlorhexidine gluconate.

As of the time when the FDA issued the warning, the agency had received 52 reports of anaphylaxis (a severe form of allergic reaction) with the use of skin products containing chlorhexidine gluconate. 

The FDA is requesting that the makers of these products add warnings about this potential risk to their product labels.

Prescription-only products that include chlorhexidine gluconate, such as some mouthwashes and oral chips used for gum disease, already include this warning.

Consumers who experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction after using a chlorhexidine gluconate product should immediately stop using the product and seek medical attention or call 911, according to the FDA.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include wheezing or trouble breathing, swelling of the face, hives and severe rash. Shock is another possibility and is life-threatening — it occurs when the body does not get enough blood flow. These serious allergic reactions can happen within minutes.

Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about the skin cleanser products you are currently using.

Last Updated:
February 8, 2017