Chemical Structure / July 19, 2018 / Laney Wolfe
Benzethonium is a synthetic quaternary ammonium salt with surfactant, antiseptic, and broad spectrum antimicrobial properties. Its salt form, benzethonium chloride, is primarily used as a skin disinfectant at concentrations of 0.1-0.2 %, which are safe and effective concentrations for the compound specified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is additionally found in cosmetics and toiletries such as mouthwashes and anti-itch ointments. It is shown to be effective in mediating its antimicrobial action against bacteria, fungi, mold and viruses. There is evidence that benzethonium acts as a spermatocide but may cause vaginal irritation. Benzethonium was identified as a novel cancer-specific compound by cell-based small-molecule screen.
Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) is a cationic quaternary ammonium compound used in some types of mouthwashes, toothpastes, lozenges, throat sprays, breath sprays, and nasal sprays. It is an antiseptic that kills bacteria and other microorganisms. It has been shown to be effective in preventing dental plaque and reducing gingivitis. It has also been used as an ingredient in certain pesticides. Cetylpyridinium chloride may cause brown stains between the teeth and on the surface of teeth. However, these stains can be easily removed by a dental hygienist during a routine check-up.
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