Last update July 2, 2015


Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Iodine-free disinfectant which is widely use for skin, mouth, and, obstetric disinfection. It is preferred over iodine-based disinfectants in order to avoid high iodine exposure to the child in the neonatal and breastfeeding period that would pose a higher risk for thyroid dysfunction.

Because of pharmacokinetic data (high molecular weight, high capacity for serum protein-binding and poor oral or gut absorption) significant excretion into breast milk is unlikely.

Used for obstetrical purposes (vaginal or C-section wounds) even during birth or in the puerperal period, has failed to cause harm neither to the newborn nor the breastfed child.

Although use in the nipple may not cause troubles to the breastfed infant (except one reported case in 1989) it is not considered to be a justified practice for prevention of mastitis. Any way, it is preferred to avoid use on the nipple, at least on a long-term basis. If used, wash the nipple thoroughly before nursing.

List of Essential Medicines by WHO 2002: compatible with breastfeeding.


We do not have alternatives for Chlorhexidine since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Chlorhexidine in other languages or writings:


Chlorhexidine belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Chlorhexidine in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. < 5 %
Molecular weight 505 daltons
Protein Binding 87 %
Tmax 0.5 hours
4 hours


  1. AEMPS. Angileptol. Ficha técnica. 2019 Full text (in our servers)
  2. Vieira F, Bachion MM, Mota DD, Munari DB. A systematic review of the interventions for nipple trauma in breastfeeding mothers. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2013 Jun;45(2):116-25. Abstract
  3. Pereira L, Chipato T, Mashu A, Mushangwe V, Rusakaniko S, Bangdiwala SI, Chidede OS, Darmstadt GL, Gwanzura L, Kandawasvika G, Madzime S, Lumbiganon P, Tolosa JE. Randomized study of vaginal and neonatal cleansing with 1% chlorhexidine. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2011 Abstract
  4. Hirata K, Kurokawa A. Chlorhexidine gluconate ingestion resulting in fatal respiratory distress syndrome. Vet Hum Toxicol. 2002 Abstract
  5. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Quinn MW, Bini RM. Bradycardia associated with chlorhexidine spray. Arch Dis Child. 1989 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Arena Ansotegui J, Emparanza Knörr JI, San Millán Vege MJ, Garrido Chércoles A, Eguileor Gurtubai I. [Iodine overload in newborn infants caused by the use of PVP-iodine for perineal preparation of the mother in vaginal delivery]. An Esp Pediatr. 1989 Abstract
  8. Nilsson G, Larsson L, Christensen KK, Christensen P, Dykes AK. Chlorhexidine for prevention of neonatal colonization with group B streptococci. V. Chlorhexidine concentrations in blood following vaginal washing during delivery. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1989 Abstract
  9. Mucklow ES. Accidental feeding of a dilute antiseptic solution (chlorhexidine 0.05% with cetrimide 1%) to five babies. Hum Toxicol. 1988 Abstract
  10. Herd B, Feeney JG. Two aerosol sprays in nipple trauma. Practitioner. 1986 Abstract

Total visits


Help us improve this entry

How to cite this entry

Do you need more information or did not found what you were looking for?

   Write us at

e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Asociación Española de Bancos de Leche Humana of Spain

Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM