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Teachable Moment
January 2019

Magic Mouthwash for Oral Mucositis: A Teachable Moment

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Mount Sinai St Luke’s and Mount Sinai West, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • 3Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(1):104-105. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.6223

A man in his 60s with gastric cancer presented to an urgent care center with mouth pain. He had initiated capecitabine chemotherapy (oral prodrug of fluorouracil) prior to his visit. Eating exacerbated the pain, although he could still eat solid food. He reported no fevers or chest pain. On examination, he was afebrile. Oral examination showed generalized erythema and some shallow ulcerations without bleeding. No signs of bacterial, viral, or Candida infection were present. He was not neutropenic. He was diagnosed with chemotherapy-associated grade 2 oral mucositis (World Health Organization scale, range 1-4, with 1 indicating soreness with or without erythema and 4 indicating no alimentation possible).

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