Mouth Sores, Changes of Taste (Mucositis)
6/10/2005 and updated 2/24/07.
These are mostly anecdotal suggestions and experiences.
The incidence of changes of taste for taxotere treatment (per SWOG
99-16 or TAX 327) phase III clinical trials) is 18% but nothing was
identified as mouth sores (mucositis). Typically, mouth sores happen in
30-35% of patients overall in chemotherapy (not just taxotere).
A good website is NCI's coping pages -- oral complications - patients
pages are at
Mouth Rinse Recipes
Mix 1 part salt and 2 parts baking soda in a plastic container. Use
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of this mixture in 1 cup warm water. Rinse within 20
minutes and discard any left in the cup. You will make a fresh cup of
warm mouth rinse each time.
This is just a dilute solution of salt water, rinse several times a
day. Recipe is 1/2 tsp salt in 1 cup water. Rinse 4-5x/day for 1 minute
(for taste changes).
Another patients says, "I found a product on the shelf in our local
Longs drug store made by Tom's natural care of Maine. It's called
"natural alcohol-free baking soda mouthwash" (peppermint flavored.) It
contains mostly aloe vera, witch hazel, and baking soda, plus flavoring.
It seems to help."
L-Glutamine is an excellent mouth rinse. You can swish it around in
the mouth and then swallow it.
L-Lysine as a preventive measure
L-Lysine 500 mg: Take 1, 2, 3, or 4 tablets per day for prevention of
Also L-Lysine is good for fever blisters. If you get a lot of fever
blisters and you take one L-Lysine a day they will keep them away.
Patient 1 reports: I've been taking 500 mg twice a day and no mouth
sores. Patient 2 reports: My oncologist recommended I start
L-Lysine prior to starting taxotere and carboplatin chemotherapy to
prevent mouth sores, it is readily available and no mouth sores after 10
straight months of chemotherapy.
L-Lysine is an 'essential' amino acid that most get from food. These
websites have some information -
Nausea and Vomiting
Rinse your mouth with baking soda/salt water mouth rinse after each
episode of nausea and vomiting. This will make you feel better and will
remove gastric acids which could cause tooth decay.
Prescription Drug Products for mucositis
A patient reports: "I have just started taking a prescription formula
called Magic Mouthwash w/Tetra. Too early to say but after a week of
use, the results seem promising. Expensive! 8 oz costs $36.00. 10 cc's
4x per day. Swish and swallow."
Gelclair (a bioadherent oral
gel that coats the inside of the mouth forming a protective barrier to
soothe oral mucositis pain stemming from cancer treatment.)
Biotene (this is for dry mouth).
It is an over-the-counter item.
is a link to the manufacturer's website). Recently FDA approved(12/11/06) for the treatment of oral mucositis/stomatitis
(due to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy and all types of oral
wounds(mouth sores and injuries). When swirled gently in
the mouth, the viscous formulation forms a protective coating over the
SaforisT (glutamine) Powder in UpTecT For Oral Suspension. This
product is not yet FDA approved and is mentioned here due to its using
glutamine for oral mucositis. You can use glutamine as a mouth
wash yourself. This product may be an improved way of getting
sufficient quantities where they are needed. The results of a phase III
trial can be found in this reference: Douglas E. Peterson, DMD, PhD,
James B. Jones, MD, PharmD, Robert G. Petit II, PhD, Randomized,
placebo-controlled trial of Saforis for prevention and treatment of oral
mucositis in breast cancer patients receiving anthracycline-based
chemotherapy, Cancer, Volume 109, Issue 2, Pages 322 - 331.
There is a website devoted to mucositis that might be useful to some.
It's called Mouths Made good.
Howard Hansen 2/24/07, reviewed 3/20/2010