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Ethanol Topical 

Brand names include: Denatured Alcohol (ETH-ah-nol TOP-ikal), Nozin POPswab [ETH-ah-nol TOP-ikal], Lavacol Alcare Plus, and Instant Hand Sanitizer.
Topical liquid (70%; 95%); and topical swab (62%).
Class of drugs: antiseptics and germicides

What is Ethanol Topical?

Antiseptic Ethanol, also known as rubbing alcohol, is used to kill bacteria.Use of ethanol topical on the skin (for skin use) helps reduce the chance of Staph infections around the nose or on the skin.The topical ethanol does not contain any antibacterials. It should not replace other medications prescribed by your doctor.This medication guide does not list all possible uses for ethanol topical.

Side effects of Ethanol Topical

If you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergy: difficulty breathing, hives, swelling in your lips, face, throat, or tongueYou may experience less serious side effects or none at all.There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor.Call the FDA's Consumer Response Hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088 if experiencing adverse side effects.


Please read all the instructions on the label or package of your medication. Inform your doctors about your allergies and medical conditions. Also, tell them which medicines you are using.

Similar/related drugs

Betadine, topical

iodine, topical silver nitrate, and Dakins Full Strength Solutions

Before you take this drug

If you have an allergy to ethanol, then it is best not to use the topical.If you experience nasal irritation or bleeding, do not apply ethanol to your nose or the area around it.If you've ever experienced a reaction, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether ethanol topical can be used.

Before using this medication, consult your doctor if you're pregnant or nursing. Avoid applying ethanol to areas of the chest that could come into contact with a baby's lips.

This medicine should not be used on children younger than two years without consulting a doctor.

How to take Ethanol Topical?

Read all the instructions or guides that come with your medication and follow all the directions. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Before each use, shake the Nozin container. Avoid touching the tip of the bottle to your skin or nose. Drop the medicine on a cotton swab, and then apply it using the swab.

This medicine should only be applied to the inner skin of your nostril. Never place the tip of the swab beyond your nostril.The Nozin Popswab can only be used once. After one use, throw away the swab.Please read and follow all instructions for use that come with your medication. If you don't understand the instructions, ask your pharmacist or doctor.Avoid allowing children under the age of 12 to apply ethanol-based topical products without adult supervision.Keep away from heat and moisture.The topical ethanol is highly flammable. Avoid using near-open flames or high temperatures. Smoke only after the medication has dried completely on your skin.

What happens if I miss the dose?

You may not have a schedule for ethanol topical because it is only used as needed. If it is almost time to take your next dose, skip any missed doses. Never take two doses in one go.

What happens if I overdose?

Overdoses of topical ethanol are not dangerous. If anyone accidentally swallows the medicine, call 1-800-222-1222 or seek emergency medical care.

What should be avoided?

Do not get ethanol topical into your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Interaction with other drug

Other drugs that you take are unlikely to affect the medicine applied to your skin. Many drugs interact. Inform your health care providers of all the medicines that you take, including prescription medicines and over-the-counter medications.