Does Chlorhexidine expire? 

Does Chlorhexidine expire?

Yes, Chlorhexidine does expire. Every pharmaceutically active chemical can remain effective for a certain period of time. Chlorhexidine is no exception. It is antiseptic and antibacterial in nature which can eliminate disease-causing bacteria. 

However, it is intended for external use only and it should not be applied to open wounds (1). Chlorhexidine can be added to a number of preparations, like ointments, mouthwashes, etc. The expiry date depends on the product and other components present in it.

Although it is considered best to not use any expired chemical, you can use Chlorhexidine if it has recently expired. The process of physical or chemical degradation does not occur overnight. 

However, it has been more than a year, I would not recommend you use it. When Chlorhexidine loses its antibacterial activity, it becomes susceptible to bacterial growth. 

What are the dangers associated with the use of expired Chlorhexidine? 

An expired Chlorhexidine may still be effective and it can help clean your skin. However, if the formulation has lost its potency, it will not act as an effective antiseptic and antimicrobial agent. This is why you can’t rely on Chlorhexidine which expired quite a while ago. 

What to do if you have used expired Chlorhexidine? 

If you have applied expired Chlorhexidine on your skin and it burns, or itches or you start to observe any other sign of a possible allergic reaction, reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as you can. 

If you have used it one time and nothing happens, you don’t need to do anything. Just make sure you wash that part of the skin properly and refrain from using it any further. 

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PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004-. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 9552079, Chlorhexidine; [cited 2022 Oct. 20]. Available from: