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Chlorhexidine Allergy: Current Challenges and Future Prospects

Authors Chiewchalermsri C, Sompornrattanaphan M, Wongsa C, Thongngarm T

Received 12 January 2020

Accepted for publication 11 February 2020

Published 9 March 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 127—133


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Luis Garcia-Marcos

Chirawat Chiewchalermsri,1,2 Mongkhon Sompornrattanaphan,3 Chamard Wongsa,3 Torpong Thongngarm3

1Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, Phramongkutklao Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand; 2Department of Medicine, Panyananthaphikkhu Chonprathan Medical Center, Srinakharinwirot University, Nonthaburi, Thailand; 3Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Correspondence: Torpong Thongngarm
Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, 2 Wanglang Road, Bangkoknoi, Bangkok 10700, Thailand
Tel/Fax +66 2-419-8263

Abstract: Chlorhexidine is a synthetic bisbiguanide antiseptic and was introduced in healthcare use in 1954. Allergy to chlorhexidine has been increasingly reported particularly in the perioperative and medical procedural settings. The hypersensitivity reactions range from mild cutaneous reactions to anaphylaxis or death. There are many products and medical devices containing chlorhexidine that sometimes lack standardized labeling. With the various routes of chlorhexidine exposure, accidental or recurrent reactions in chlorhexidine-allergic patients have been reported. Therefore, we aim to review the most recent evidence in clinical manifestations, diagnostic methods, management, and preventive measures with a focus on the unique features of chlorhexidine allergy.

Keywords: chlorhexidine, allergy, antiseptics, anaphylaxis, hypersensitivity, perioperative

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