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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION
- USES: Hexachlorophene is approved as a surgical scrub and bacteriostatic skin cleanser. It is indicated to control an outbreak of gram-positive infection where other infection control measures have failed.
- PHARMACOLOGY: Hexachlorophene is a bacteriostatic agent against staphylococci and other gram positive bacteria.
- EPIDEMIOLOGY: Overdose is rare.
- WITH THERAPEUTIC USE
- Dermatitis and photosensitivity may occur following topical use of hexachlorophene.
- WITH POISONING/EXPOSURE
- DERMAL: Dermal application of highly concentrated (greater than 3%) preparations on several occasions or repeated applications of less concentrated preparations, especially in neonates or to damaged skin, may result in significant toxicity. Nausea, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, and lethargy frequently occur as early signs of toxicity. In one study, an erythematous desquamative rash was the most common sign of topical hexachlorophene toxicity (reported in 93% of 204 children dermally exposed to 6.3% hexachlorophene powder). The rash may precede or follow the onset of neurologic abnormalities. In patients with significant CNS toxicity (eg, coma, seizures), cerebral edema is almost always present, sometimes sufficient to cause herniation and death.
- INGESTION: Acute ingestion of large amounts (greater than 30 mL by adults) or repeated ingestion of small amounts may cause significant toxicity or death. Anorexia, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dehydration, seizures, hypotension, shock, and death have been reported following accidental ingestion of 1 to 4 oz (30 to 120 mL) of 3% hexachlorophene. Other reported effects include bradycardia, blindness, muscular fasciculations, irritability, weakness, hypertonicity, transverse myelopathy of the spinal cord, cranial nerve palsies, choreoathetosis, and cardiorespiratory arrest.
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