From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Other names
Polyhexamethylene biguanide; Polyhexamethylene guanide; Poly(iminoimidocarbonyl-iminoimidocarbonyl-iminohexamethylene) Hydrochloride; Poly(hexamethylenebiguanide); Polihexanide
  • 28757-47-3 checkY
  • 32289-58-0 (HCl) checkY
Abbreviations PHMB
  • none
ECHA InfoCard 100.115.789 Edit this at Wikidata
D08AC05 (WHO)
GHS pictograms GHS09: Environmental hazardGHS08: Health hazardGHS06: ToxicGHS05: Corrosive
GHS Signal word Danger[1]
H410, H318, H400, H351, H317, H372, H330, H302
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
☒N verify (what is checkY☒N ?)
Infobox references

Polyhexanide (polyhexamethylene biguanide, PHMB) is a polymer used as a disinfectant and antiseptic. In dermatological use,[2] it is spelled polihexanide (INN) and sold under names such as Lavasept, Serasept, Prontosan and Omnicide.[3] PHMB has been shown to be effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus (also the methicillin-resistant type, MRSA), Escherichia coli, Candida albicans (yeast), Aspergillus brasiliensis (mold), vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and Klebsiella pneumoniae (carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae).[4]

Some products containing PHMB are used for inter-operative irrigation, pre- and post-surgery skin and mucous membrane disinfection, post-operative dressings, surgical and non-surgical wound dressings, surgical bath/hydrotherapy, chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcer and burn wound management, routine antisepsis during minor incisions, catheterization, scopy, first aid, surface disinfection, and linen disinfection.[5] PHMB eye drops have been used as a treatment for eyes affected by Acanthamoeba keratitis.[6]

Branded as Baquacil, it also has an application as a swimming-pool and spa water sanitizer in place of chlorine- or bromine-based products. It is available as Baqua-Spa 3 sanitize, as Revacil Spa 3 sanitizer, and in the Leisure Time Free system.

PHMB is also used as an ingredient in some contact lens cleaning products, cosmetics, personal deodorants and some veterinary products. It is also used to treat clothing (Purista), purportedly to prevent the development of unpleasant odors.

The PHMB hydrochloride salt (solution) is used in the majority of formulations.


In 2011, Polyhexamethylenbiguanide (PHMB, Polyhexanide) has been classified as carcinogenic category 2 by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA). Products containing concentrations of 1% PHMB and more have to be declared as «suspected of causing cancer» and concentrations of 0.1% or above have to be noted in the safety datasheet. PHMB is allowed as a part of cosmetic products (max. 0.1%) if exposure by inhalation is impossible.

On the 20th of April 2018, the european commission decided to ban preservative uses of PHMB PT9 (Fibre, leather, rubber and polymerised materials preservatives). It’s still allowed for uses as disinfectants PT2 (Disinfectants and algaecides not intended for direct application to humans or animals). Furthermore, PHMB has been declared as a candidate for substitution by the ECHA.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Classification and Labelling of PHMB". European Chemicals Agency.
  2. ^ Ansorg R, Rath PM, Fabry W (2003). "Inhibition of the anti-staphylococcal activity of the antiseptic polihexanide by mucin". Arzneimittel-Forschung. 53 (5): 368–71. doi:10.1055/s-0031-1297121. PMID 12854364.
  3. ^ International Drug Names: Polihexanide
  4. ^ Maribeth Cousin, Kimberly Restivo, Chelsea Rodriguez, and Justin Lien. USP Antimicrobial Effectiveness Test (GLP). Elkhorn, WI: Geneva Laboratories. 2013. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-04-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Nusept
  6. ^ Alkharashi M, Lindsley K, Law HA, Sikder S (2015). "Medical interventions for acanthamoeba keratitis". Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2 (2): CD0010792. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010792.pub2. PMC 4730543. PMID 25710134.
  7. ^ "Information on biocides". European Chemical Agency. Retrieved 3 December 2020.