Drugs A - Z

Benzalkonium Chloride Topical solution

It is used prior to surgical procedures or for minor wound care to reduce risks of infection

Generic Name: Zephiran

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.

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
-breast-feeding

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've taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

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 soapsDo not use any other skin products on the same area of skin without asking your doctor or health care professional.

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

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.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


Last Updated: March 24, 2011
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