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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 http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/oralcomplications/Patient/page5  


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 mouth sores. 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 -

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsSupplements/Lysinecs.html http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/lly_0166.shtml

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.

MuGardô (think 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 mucosa.

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




The information on this website was written between 2001 and 2010 by and for men with HRPCa (now called CRPC or mCRPC). The website content was developed for educational purposes only and does not replace or amend professional medical advice. Although proven and potential treatments have substantially changed since 2010, much of the website content is still relevant and helpful. See About Us for our policies and contact information. We are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity. © 2001-2015 HRPCa Association, Inc.