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P & S


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Phenol is an antiseptic and disinfectant effective against vegetative Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, mycobacteria, and some fungi, but only very slowly effective against spores. It is also active against certain viruses



Adverse reactions:

When ingested, phenol causes extensive local corrosion, with pain, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and diarrhoea. Excitation may occur initially but it is quickly followed by unconsciousness. There is depression of the CNS, with cardiac arrhythmias, and circulatory and respiratory failure, which may lead to death. Acidosis may develop and occasionally there is haemolysis and methaemoglobinaemia with cyanosis. The urine may become dark brown or green. Pulmonary oedema and myocardial damage may develop, and damage to the liver and kidneys may lead to organ failure. Severe or fatal poisoning may occur from the absorption of phenol from unbroken skin or wounds and suitable precautions should be taken to prevent absorption. Applied to skin, phenol causes blanching and corrosion, sometimes with little pain. Aqueous solutions as dilute as 10% may be corrosive. Toxic symptoms may also arise through absorption of phenol vapour by the skin or lungs. Phenol throat spray may cause local oedema. Cresols and other phenolic substances have similar effects.


non specific


Phenol should not be used to preserve preparations that are to be freeze-dried. Solutions containing phenol should not be applied to large areas of skin or large wounds since sufficient phenol may be absorbed to give rise to toxic symptoms. Phenol should not be used as a throat spray in patients with epiglottitis, or in children aged under 6 years.


Scalp application

Dosage and Administration

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