Children's acceptance and tolerance of chlorhexidine and benzydamine oral rinses in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced oropharyngeal mucositis.Eur J Oncol Nurs 2004; 8(4):341-9EJ
Oral care is of great importance in the prevention of chemotherapy-induced oropharyngeal mucositis. Although considerable attention has been given in improving oral care practices, patients' acceptance and tolerance of oral rinses is a continuing problem in oral care. A randomized crossover design was used to determine the relative acceptability and tolerability of chlorhexidine and benzydamine oral rinse agents in children receiving chemotherapy. At the end of the study, each subject was asked to compare these two agents in relation to stinging and taste, as well as his/her perception in reducing mucositis. Thirty-four children aged 6-17 years completed two courses of chemotherapy during which they alternately practiced oral care using chlorhexidine then benzydamine or benzydamine then chlorhexidine. All of the children tolerated the agents well and continued with rinsing throughout the study. Only a few children had to resort to diluting the agents with normal saline or water. Fifty-nine percent of children reported that the stinging associated with benzydamine was more accepted than chlorhexidine. The taste of both these agents was accepted by 50% of children. Approximately 60% of children reported that chlorhexidine was more helpful than benzydamine in reducing mucositis. About 47% and 50% of them preferred chlorhexidine and benzydamine in their subsequent chemotherapy, respectively. In conclusion, chlorhexidine and benzydamine are acceptable and well-tolerated by children over the age 6 years old.