This Infosheet explains the causes of mouth problems in myeloma patients, what to look out for, treatments available and tips for self-management.
Mouth problems are caused by:
- Weakened immune system
- Treatment side effects
Treatments may include:
- Antibacterial mouthwash (e.g. chlorhexidine) – to reduce the risk of infection
- Anaesthetic mouthwash (e.g. difflam) – to relieve pain
- Antiviral medication (e.g. acyclovir) – to treat, or prevent, cold sores
- Antifungal lozenges, drops or mouthwash (e.g. nystatin) – to treat and prevent oral thrush
- Artificial saliva spray (e.g. glandosane) – to help relieve the discomfort of a dry mouth
- Pain-killers (e.g. codeine or morphine) may sometimes be required (often in liquid form or via a syringe driver) for severe mucositis
- Caphosol – a mouth rinse that helps to moisten a dry mouth caused by mucositis. It is given as a 30ml solution at the start of high-dose therapy and stem cell transplantation (HDT-SCT) 4 www.myeloma.org.uk
- Palifermin – aims to reduce the risk of developing mucositis during HDT-SCT. It encourages the growth of new cells lining the mouth. It is thought to stop ulcers from forming and help any ulcers that do form to heal faster.
The Infosheet contains tips for self-management including preventative measures as well as coping with a sore, dry or infected mouth.