Daily chlorhexidine mouthwash is often recommended for preventing chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis. Povidone-iodine, NaCl 0.9%, water salt soda solution and chamomile mouthwash are also recommended. However, the effectiveness of these mouthwashes is unclear. Therefore, we performed a systematic review to assess the effectiveness of mouthwashes in preventing and ameliorating chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis. Based on study quality, three out of five randomized controlled trials were included in a meta-analysis. The results failed to detect any beneficial effects of chlorhexidine as compared with sterile water, or NaCl 0.9%. Patients complained about negative side-effects of chlorhexidine, including teeth discoloration and alteration of taste in two of the five studies on chlorhexidine. The severity of oral mucositis was shown to be reduced by 30% using a povidone-iodine mouthwash as compared with sterile water in a single randomized controlled trial. These results do not support the use of chlorhexidine mouthwash to prevent oral mucositis.

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doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2354.2006.00684.x, hdl.handle.net/1765/72014
European Journal of Cancer Care
Department of Cardiology

Potting, C. M. J., Uitterhoeve, R., Scholte op Reimer, W., & van Achterberg, T. (2006). The effectiveness of commonly used mouthwashes for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis: A systematic review. European Journal of Cancer Care (Vol. 15, pp. 431–439). doi:10.1111/j.1365-2354.2006.00684.x