Randomized trial of a chlorhexidine mouthwash for alleviation of radiation-induced mucositis.

To determine whether a chlorhexidine mouthwash could alleviate radiation-induced oral mucositis.
Patients scheduled to receive radiation therapy to include greater than one third of the oral cavity mucosa were selected for study. Following stratification, they were randomized in a double-blind manner to receive a chlorhexidine mouthwash or a placebo mouthwash. Both groups were then similarly evaluated for mucositis and mouthwash toxicity.
Twenty-five patients were randomized to receive the chlorhexidine mouthwash, while 27 received the placebo mouthwash. Treatment arms were well balanced. There was a trend for more mucositis and there was substantially more toxicity (eg, mouthwash-induced discomfort, taste alteration, and teeth staining) on the chlorhexidine arm.
In contrast to the prestudy hypothesis that a chlorhexidine mouthwash might provide benefit for patients receiving radiation therapy to the oral mucosa, this study provides strong evidence suggesting that a chlorhexidine mouthwash is detrimental in this clinical situation.
AuthorsR L Foote, C L Loprinzi, A R Frank, J R O'Fallon, S Gulavita, H H Tewfik, M A Ryan, J M Earle, P Novotny
JournalJournal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (J Clin Oncol) Vol. 12 Issue 12 Pg. 2630-3 (Dec 1994) ISSN: 0732-183X [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID7989938 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Journal Article, Multicenter Study, Randomized Controlled Trial, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Mouthwashes
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Aged
  • Chlorhexidine (adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms (radiotherapy)
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Mucosa (drug effects, radiation effects)
  • Mouthwashes (therapeutic use)
  • Radiation Injuries (drug therapy)
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Stomatitis (drug therapy, etiology)

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