The FDA has issued a public health notice to inform health care professionals about the potential for serious hypersensitivity reactions to medical devices impregnated with chlorhexidine, an antimicrobial agent. Additionally, the agency is seeking information and reports to better evaluate the potential health hazard these products might pose, and to decide on what action, if any, should be taken. Devices incorporating chlorhexidine that the FDA has cleared for marketing include intravenous catheters, topical antimicrobial skin dressings, and implanted antimicrobial surgical mesh.
Nightingale SL. Hypersensitivity to Chlorhexidine-Impregnated Medical Devices. JAMA. 1998;279(21):1684. doi:10.1001/jama.279.21.1684-JFD80005-2-1