Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System
Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidising agent used as an antiseptic, disinfectant, and deodorant. It has weak antibacterial activity and is also effective against viruses, including HIV. It also has a mild haemostatic action. It owes its antiseptic action to its ready release of oxygen when applied to tissues, but the effect lasts only as long as the oxygen is being released and is of short duration; in addition the antimicrobial effect of the liberated oxygen is reduced in the presence of organic matter. The mechanical effect of effervescence is probably more useful for wound cleansing than the antimicrobial action.