In vitro antifungal properties of mouthrinses containing antimicrobial agents

J Periodontol. 1997 Aug;68(8):729-33. doi: 10.1902/jop.1997.68.8.729.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the in vitro antifungal properties of seven commercial mouthrinses containing antimicrobial agents. These included cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), chlorhexidine digluconate (CHX), hexetidine (HEX), sanguinarine (SNG), and triclosan (TRN). The minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) against six species of yeasts was determined by a broth macrodilution method. The kill-time of mouthrinses at half the concentration of the commercial formulations was also determined. MFCs were achieved with each mouthrinse, except the SNG-containing mouthrinse, against all the organisms being tested. However, the CPC-containing mouthrinse appeared more active than the other products (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences in MFC values among CHX mouthrinse products, once adjusted for initial concentration differences (P = 0.1). Kill-times of mouthrinses containing either CHX or CPC were less than or equal to 180 seconds with all the species of yeasts, and no significant differences were found among these products (P = 0.18). On the other hand, mouthrinses containing either TRN or HEX did not show a lethal effect on Candida albicans, Candida parapsilosis, or Candida guilliermondii. No kill-times were achieved with the SNG-containing mouthrinse. These results suggest that mouthrinses containing antimicrobial agents might represent an appropriate alternative to conventional antifungal drugs in the management of oral candidiasis. However, the effectiveness of antimicrobial mouthrinses as antifungal agents needs to be evaluated in further clinical trials.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids / administration & dosage
  • Alkaloids / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Benzophenanthridines
  • Candida / drug effects
  • Candida albicans / drug effects
  • Candidiasis, Oral / drug therapy
  • Cetylpyridinium / administration & dosage
  • Cetylpyridinium / pharmacology
  • Chlorhexidine / administration & dosage
  • Chlorhexidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Fungi / drug effects*
  • Hexetidine / administration & dosage
  • Hexetidine / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Isoquinolines
  • Mouthwashes / administration & dosage
  • Mouthwashes / pharmacology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects
  • Time Factors
  • Triclosan / administration & dosage
  • Triclosan / pharmacology


  • Alkaloids
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Benzophenanthridines
  • Isoquinolines
  • Mouthwashes
  • Triclosan
  • Hexetidine
  • sanguinarine
  • Cetylpyridinium
  • chlorhexidine gluconate
  • Chlorhexidine