What is this medicine?
BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE (ben zal KOE nee um klor ide) is an antiseptic. It is used prior to surgical procedures or for minor wound care to reduce risks of infection. It may be used for cold sore care.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Zephiran
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- an unusual or allergic reaction to benzalkonium chloride, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
This medicine is for external use only. It is usually applied by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting. If you are to use this medicine at home, use it as directed. Wash off any soap from the skin before using.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
This does not apply if this medicine is applied in a hospital or clinic. Otherwise, if you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
- detergents and soaps
Do not use any other skin products on the same area of skin without asking your doctor or health care professional.
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Do not get this medicine in your eyes. If you do, rinse out with plenty of cool tap water and seek medical attention.
If this medicine is accidentally swallowed, seek immediate medical attention.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- chemical burn
- skin irritation like redness, itching, or stinging that does not go away
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- mild stinging sensation when first applied
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep tightly closed. Keep this medicine in the original container. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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