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  1. Art, Greg BA, MBA, NPDP


Topical antiseptic formulations containing single active ingredients of alcohol and iodine are recognized by the Food and Drug Administration as "generally safe and effective" for "preparation of the skin prior to surgery" or "prior to an injection" including "catheter care, ostomy hygiene, and intravenous site preparation" (Federal Register, 1994). However, a synergistic effect results from the combination of ethyl or isopropyl alcohol and povidone-iodine. Because each active ingredient has different modes of action and performance characteristics, these combination formulations are faster acting with a broader spectrum of antimicrobial activity than formulations containing povidone-iodine alone, and more persistent than formulations containing ethyl or isopropyl alcohol alone.