Outline the pharmacology of antiseptics and disinfectants
Relevant definitions for antiseptics include:
Physical removal of foreign material.
- Used for non-critical items, which come into contact with healthy skin but not mucous membranes (e.g. blood pressure cuff)
Destruction of contaminants such that they cannot reach a susceptible site in sufficient number to cause harm.
Elimination of all pathological organisms, excluding spores.
- Used for semi-critical items, which are those that contact mucous membranes but do not break the blood barrier (e.g. endoscopes, laryngoscopes)
Elimination of all forms of microbial life, including spores.
- Used for critical items, which are those that enter sterile or vascular tissue and pose a high risk of infection (e.g. surgical instruments, vascular and urinary catheters)
|Drug||Isopropyl Alcohol||Chlorhexidine||Povidone iodine|
|Pharmaceutics||Typically 60-90% - requires some water to denature protein. Flammable.||May be aqueous or combined with isopropyl alcohol.||Iodine combined with a polymer (povidone) to enhance water solubility|
|Antiviral Properties||Poor antiviral||Poor antiviral||Good antiviral|
|Antibacterial Properties||Broad spectrum antibacterial||Broad spectrum antibacterial and antifungal||Broad spectrum including fungi, spores (unlike iodine), and tuberculosis|
|Toxic||Irritant on mucous membranes and open wounds||Hypersensitivity||Hypersensitivity|
|Other||Persistent antiseptic effect||Requires continual release of iodine to achieve effect. Inactivated by organic substances. Stains.|
- Petkov V. Essential Pharmacology For The ANZCA Primary Examination. Vesselin Petkov. 2012.
- Sabir N, Ramachandra V. Decontamination of anaesthetic equipment. Continuing Education in Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain. (2004). 4(4), 103–106.