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Nev Black

Mouth ulcers – side effect from having Docetaxel (Taxotere)

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Nev Black

 

One of our members, living in a very isolated area, is currently having Docetaxel for his advanced prostate cancer.

His main concern at the moment is ulcers inside his mouth.

I would appreciate any information on suggested treatment from members who may have experienced this chemotherapy side effect.

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timbaker

I was told to rinse mouth with warm water and bi-carb soda or salt and did that pretty dutifully every day and never had an issue with mouth ulcers. If they already have mouth ulcers I am not sure if there is a different recommendation but that worked well for me. 

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Guest Imp

Hello Nev. Ian from South Australia here. I did docetaxel and didn’t have much of a problem with mouth ulcers. Each night I would rinse with warm salty water before bed and sleep with no teeth in. During the day keep the mouth clean especially after meals, any sores I then used SM 33. The hospital nurse hadn’t heard of it, it’s available from chemists and is very effective, I’m now doing cabitaxel and stick to the same routine, yesterday was number 7 and so far so good! Nev I Hope your feeling fine after your procedure, Ian

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Bruce Kynaston
Oral ulcers associated with chemo therapy may be due to cell depletion caused by the agent, or opportunistic microbial activity in the presence of some reduction in the cells lining the mouth.
 
Symptom relief by the application of surface anaesthetics is one help, but it would be desirable to have a culture from a swab sample sent to a medical laboratory to check on bacteria or yeasts.
this could be a problem if he lives far from medical help.
 
The information posted above has good value.
 
It is a long time since I retired (23 years) from radiation oncology that I feel a bit rusty.
 
Bruce Kyn..

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alanbarlee

G'day Nev,

A friend of mine experienced mouth problems with chemo. (Caveat- oesophageal cancer uses a different regime to the taxanes employed in prostate cancer). He got relief from 'Denta-Med ' - a Peter Mac endorsed product (info@denta-med.com.au).

Cheers,

Alan

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Geoff J

Hi Nev,

When I had my chemo (Taxotere) I was advised by treating staff  at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane to rinse mouth with either salty water or water with bi-carb soda as many times as I could throughout the day and to aim for a minimum of six. As I also live in a rural area and only have tank water at home and because of the vagaries of what may be in the tank water, to boil before drinking or mixing with salt or bi-carb or to purchase bottled water. ( I don't know where they think the money would come from for that.) I had no problems with mouth ulcers and think that these precautions helped in that regard.

The most interesting thing was that on changing hospitals for treatment from the Wesley to St Andrews in Toowoomba the nursing staff had never heard of boiling tank water and had not even considered boiling until after we mentioned it. The water bi-card mix is not pleasant but I believe that it did the job for me.

Thanks Geoff.

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John Murphy

Hi Nev,

I had 10 Docetaxal treatments and certainly experienced mouth ulcers. I found mouth rinsing with warm salty water helped. Obviously the more often the better. For really bad ulcers I have sometimes used a product called Kenalog in Orabase. It's pretty industrial compared with SM 33 but worked for me. I am now on treatment #13 with Cabazitaxel and still rinse with salty water for the first week only as I have found this chemo much more forgiving. 

Good luck 

Cheers John.

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Nev Black

Thanks everyone for your responses. 

It is truly appreciated. 

Our fellow member lives in a remote area and does not have the internet.

I have passed on all the contributions.

Thanks again

Nev Black 

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Admin

In treating ordinary mouth ulcers, the Difflam brand is worth looking for if you find the other brands sting too much. When you ask for Difflam brand mouth ulcer gel, pharmacy assistants will often correct you with "You mean Difflam mouth lozenges?" because these are the big sellers of the brand, but it is the mouth ulcer gel you are looking for.

Jim

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Chalkie

I am on Cabazetaxel and have had 9 infusions  Mouth ulcers have developed over the past 6 weeks.  Very painful.

I was put on treatment for thrush - no response.

I have been regularly rinsing my mouth with salty water.  Then was introduced to "Peter Mac Mouthwash Powder.   

The ulcers are not under control.

I was talking to a chemist tonight who stated that the treatments prescribed ( Nystatin and then Fungilin Lozenge) are not for mouth ulcers caused by Chemo!!  but for fungal infections such as thrush.  She suggested Honey!! and keeping my mouth moist - sipping cool water.  She also said that Peter Mac have a mouth spray and that I need to have a swab taken.   More visits to the Medics!!   Will post more when I obtain further advice.   

Tomorrow I am going to contact PeterMac pharmacy, The Prostate Cancer Centre in North Melbourne and have an appointment to discuss the situation with my GP.

 

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Barree

Hi Chalkie,
 I too have problems with mouth ulcers as a result of chemo. I have found BONJELA which is available without prescription from a pharmacy to be helpful - particularly when used of a night. If perchance you have dentures, you will find Bonjela works particularly well if you squeeze the gel into the dentures before inserting them in your mouth.I do this a few times a day usually after meals.

 

Additionally, I have a few small spray bottles containing water and a small amount of peppermint food essence. These are kept in the refrigerator. I have one with me all the time and swap them over as necessary so they remain cold. Instead of drinking I spray the inside of my mouth with this solution as and when needed which I might add is quite often.


After meals I use Peter Mac mouthwash and then Bonjela.

 

Hope it works for you as well as it works for me.

Cheers,

Barree

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Chalkie

Up-date from Chalkie

After the run-around over the past weeks I hope my problems will now resolve.  The pharmacologist at PeterMac in the Parkville suggested that the treatment for my mouth ulcers is lignocaine gel.  This is an anesthetic - local pain killer.    It is not on the PBS and if obtained on script from GP it is expensive ($50 - $90). But via PMCC oncologist and obtained at PMCC Pharmacy it is heavily subsidised. 

 

No medics available at PMCC to provide a scrip so I ended up back with my GP.   He believes the ulcers are a result of the radiation I had to my jaw several weeks ago and agreed that the gel would provide relief - but not a cure.  He provided a script but local chemist didn't have it in stock.   I then went to Epworth/PeterMac in Box Hill where I had the radiation several weeks ago with a hope that they may be able to help.  Fortunately then nurse there was available and very helpful.  She diagnosed my condition as "mucasitis" definitely related to the facial radiation - a rare side-effect!!  She arranged for me to have a script (cheap).   Her recommendations were to use the gel four time a day and to take soluble panadol 4 times a day and to rinse mouth with PeterMac mouthwash every two hours. Stick to a soft food diet where food is not spiced or hot.  

So my problem is not related to the Chemo.  Sorry to mislead anyone - but I was misled.    At least I believe that my situation will resolve in time and I have a process to ease the pain.  

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Nev Black

Chalkie

I do not feel misled in the slightest.

However, through your experience and postings, it shows us all how important it is to take a greater role in our own well being.

Best wishes with your treatment.

Would be great if you could let us know how you are getting on in a few weeks.

Good luck

Nev 

 

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Chalkie

Further to my last post

The active ingredient to the oral gel is lignocaine   - This is also in the throat spray "Strepsils"available over the counter at pharmacies

 

The product from Peter Mac  is MUCOSOOTHE.

I think to the key to eventual recovery is using the mouth wash frequently - So I now carry a plastic bottle of the mixture with me and rinse and gargle frequently.    

 

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