LISTERINE COVID-19 Information For Health Care Professionals

As a global leader in oral care, we have reviewed recent literature, as well as registered clinical trials available at this time regarding mouthwash and COVID-19. 

Because of the significant attention on this topic, we have developed this information sheet on the emerging science and research.

OVERVIEW

LISTERINE® Antiseptic is an antimicrobial mouthwash that is clinically proven to kill germs that cause plaque, bad breath and the early gum disease, gingivitis. LISTERINE® Antiseptic is not intended to prevent or treat COVID-19 and should be used only as directed on the product label.  

Although there are recent lab-based reports (in vitro studies) of some LISTERINE® Mouthwashes having activity against enveloped viruses, including coronavirus, the available data is insufficient, and no evidence-based clinical conclusions can be drawn with regards to the anti-viral efficacy of LISTERINE® Antiseptic mouthwash at this time.  

Our understanding of the course of COVID-19 disease transmission continues to evolve. More research is needed to understand whether the use of mouthwashes can impact viral transmission, exposure, viral entry, viral load and ultimately affect meaningful clinical outcomes.   

The data on Pre-procedural mouthrinse (PPMR) to reduce microorganisms in dental aerosols prior to a dental procedure are inconclusive at this time. LISTERINE® is not currently indicated for this use.

IN VITRO DATA

We are aware of the following external lab studies that have evaluated the efficacy of various LISTERINE® Mouthwashes and other mouthwashes against coronaviruses. 

These in vitro studies have shown that LISTERINE® Mouthwashes inactivate SARS-CoV-2 and its surrogate viruses in a saliva proxy.  However, no evidence-based clinical conclusions can be drawn with regards to the anti-viral efficacy of LISTERINE® Antiseptic mouthwash at this time.  

Additional clinical research is needed to understand whether rinsing and/or gargling with LISTERINE® Mouthwashes or other mouthwashes have potential to reduce the viral load in the oral cavity and oropharynx, and/or reduce the transmission of the virus.

IN VIVO STUDIES

We are aware of the following external studies that have evaluated the efficacy of various LISTERINE® Mouthwashes and other mouthwashes against coronaviruses. 

A very small clinical trial was completed (n=20; 5 per treatment arm) and results have been posted on clinicaltrials.gov  with the complete paper available on a pre-print server.  This study called Povidone-Iodine Vs Essential Oil Vs Tap Water Gargling For COVID-19 Patients (GARGLES) has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal and given its small size cannot be used to draw conclusions.

Results suggest that gargling with Betadine or LISTERINE® Original Antiseptic three times per day for seven days in early COVID-19 positive patients may reduce viral load in the oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal regions. 

Additional clinical research is needed to understand whether rinsing and/or gargling with LISTERINE® Mouthwashes or other mouthwashes have potential to reduce the viral load in the oral cavity and oropharynx, and/or reduce the transmission of the virus.

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH IN PROGRESS

We are aware of the following studies on public registries for clinical trials that will include LISTERINE® Mouthwash products among other mouthwashes:

J&J RESPONSE

As a company firmly rooted in science, we are actively participating in scientific dialogue with study investigators around the globe.

For more information on Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Response.

Updated January 19, 2021

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