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Using Caphosol for the Treatment of Mucositis

Some chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatment can cause sores in the mouth and throat, a condition called stomatitis or mucositis. Chemotherapy drugs and radiation can also make these tissues dry and irritated or cause them to bleed. People who have not been eating well since the beginning of chemotherapy treatment, or who are receiving a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, are more likely to develop mucositis.
Mouth sores are very painful, and many people will need pain medicines to help control the pain. The pain from mouth sores can make it difficult to swallow, eat, or drink.
In addition to being painful, mouth sores can become infected by the many germs that live in the mouth. Every step should be taken to prevent infections, as they can be hard to fight during chemotherapy and can lead to serious problems. This is why good oral care is important during cancer treatment.
(Click Mouth and Gum Problems During Chemotherapy for tips on good oral care while you are receiving chemotherapy.)
Caphosol is meant to be used in combination with standard oral care to treat mouth sores caused by radiation or chemotherapy. The medication can help relieve the pain of mouth sores by lubricating the mouth. It may also help reduce the risk of getting mouth sores when used at the start of chemotherapy or radiation and throughout treatment.

How Does This Medicine Work?

Caphosol belongs to a group of medicines known as saliva substitutes. It is made to closely resemble natural human saliva. Caphosol does not increase saliva production. However, when used as a mouth rinse, it acts like natural saliva and helps moisten and clean the mouth, tongue, and throat. This can temporarily relieve a dry mouth and reduce the pain and severity of mouth sores.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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