Friday, February 5, 2010

Magic mouthwash: Effective in treating chemotherapy mouth sores?

The mouth sores are at it again! I actually have a sore on the tip of my tongue as well as a few others. I'm really getting tired of them! I found this information on "Magic Mouthwash". "Magic mouthwash" is the term given to a solution prepared by pharmacists and used to treat mouth sores (oral mucositis). Oral mucositis can be extremely painful and can result in an inability to eat, speak or swallow. Magic mouthwash may be used to treat mouth sores that result from some forms of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. There are many versions of magic mouthwash. The doctor will likely write a prescription listing the ingredients and the amount of each. Magic mouthwash usually contains at least three of these basic ingredients:
  1. An antibiotic to kill bacteria around the sore
  2. An antihistamine or local anesthetic to reduce pain and discomfort
  3. An antifungal to reduce fungal growth
  4. A corticosteroid to treat inflammation
  5. An antacid to enhance coating of the other ingredients inside the mouth
Most formulations of magic mouthwash are intended to be used every four to six hours, and to be held in your mouth for one to two minutes before being either spit out or swallowed. It's recommended that you don't eat or drink for 30 minutes after using magic mouthwash so that the medicine has time to produce an effect. It's unclear how effective magic mouthwash is in treating oral mucositis. That's because of the lack of standardization in the formulations of mouthwash, and poorly designed studies done to gather data. Side effects of magic mouthwash may include problems with taste, a burning or tingling sensation in the mouth, drowsiness, constipation, diarrhea, and nausea. Well, its not like I don't already experience all of those side effects anyway! I'll have to ask the doctor about this at the next (and last) chemo.

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