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Cetrimide is an antiseptic which is a mixture of different quaternary ammonium salts including Cetrimonium bromide (CTAB).[1] It was first discovered and developed by ICI and introduced under the brand name Cetavlon.[2] It is used as a 1-3 % solution for cleaning road side accident wounds.[3] Another antiseptic Chlorhexidine was also discovered and first developed by ICI. ICI also introduced Savlon which was a combination of Cetrimide and Chlorhexidine. ICI later sold the Savlon brand OTC to Johnson & Johnson in May 1992.[4]

Alcohol Denaturant[edit]

Cetrimide can also be used as an alcohol denaturant to make it difficult to drink denatured alcohol. Presumably, it has negative effects upon the digestive system or tastes bad[citation needed].


  1. ^ Ito., Emma (November 2009). "Editorial". Potential Use of Cetrimonium Bromide as an Apoptosis-Promoting Anticancer Agent for Head and Neck Cancer. 76 (5): 969–983. Retrieved November 2009.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19721231.2.68.1.aspx
  3. ^ Tripathi, KD. Essentials of Medical Pharmacology (7th ed.). p. 900. 
  4. ^ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/JOHNSON+%26+JOHNSON+ACQUIRES+SAVLON+OTC+BRANDS+FROM+ICI-a012169404