Mouthwash reduces radiation-induced oral mucositis pain among patients with head and neck cancer

A mouthwash consisting
of diphenhydramine, lidocaine and antacids significantly reduces oral mucositis
pain when used in patients receiving radiation therapy for the treatment of
head and neck cancer.  

Researchers assigned
275 patients with head and neck cancer being treated with an oral mucositis
pain score > 3 to be treated with doxepin mouthwash or placebo ~ 2-3 weeks after
initiation of therapy.  All patients were
undergoing treatment with concurrent chemotherapy and radiation.

Results showed those
who received the mouthwash experienced an 11.7-point decrease in mucositis pain
during the first 4 hours after treatment, compared an 8.7-point decrease with

This is the second
clinical trial
showing that doxepin
mouthwash relieved chemoradiotherapy-related oral mucositis pain.


Leenstra JL, et al. J Clin Oncol.

Sio TT, et al. JAMA.

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