Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2023; 27 (1): 366-377

DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202301_30890

Is chlorhexidine mouthwash effective in lowering COVID-19 viral load? A systematic review

G.S. Rahman, A.A.N. Alshetan, S.S.O. Alotaibi, B.M.I. Alaskar, M.A. Baseer

Preventive Dentistry Department, College of Dentistry, Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. ma_baseer@riyadh.edu.sa


OBJECTIVE: This review aims to determine whether there is considerable evidence that mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine (CHX) lower the COVID-19 virus load in saliva.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comprehensive literature search was carried out in PubMed/Medline, EMBASE, LILACS, Scopus, Web of Science and Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, Open Gray, and ProQuest electronic databases using the keywords: “coronavirus infections” or “coronavirus” or “covid 2019” or “sars 2” or “sars-cov-2” or “sars-cov-19” or “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” or “coronavirus infection” or “severe acute respiratory pneumonia outbreak” and “CHX” or “CHX Hydrochloride” or “CHX Digluconate.” A manual search of the articles was also conducted utilizing the reference lists of articles. The in vitro experimental and clinical studies that tested CHX mouthwash were included. Study selection was not restricted or limited to a specific gender, age, ethnicity of individuals, or time of publication. A mix of keywords and proper truncations were used to search for databases.

RESULTS: Twelve studies (7 clinical and 5 in vitro) published between 2020 and 2021 were included in this systemic review. Five randomized controlled trials and one clinical case series demonstrated the effectiveness of CHX in reducing the oral viral load; one was inconclusive. Of the five in vitro studies, three showed that CHX is effective against SARS-CoV-2, and two studies denied the effectiveness of CHX. All in vitro studies tested CHX activity concentrations of 0.2, 0.12, and 0.1%. One study reported more than a 99.9% reduction in SARS-CoV-2 viral load in a minimal contact time of 30 seconds. CHX exhibited potent antiviral activity at higher concentrations without cytotoxicity.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite differences in the published research, CHX at different concentrations may be effective in lowering the SARS-COV-2 viral load in saliva.

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To cite this article

G.S. Rahman, A.A.N. Alshetan, S.S.O. Alotaibi, B.M.I. Alaskar, M.A. Baseer
Is chlorhexidine mouthwash effective in lowering COVID-19 viral load? A systematic review

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2023
Vol. 27 - N. 1
Pages: 366-377
DOI: 10.26355/eurrev_202301_30890