Using Ice to Prevent Mouth Sores with Chemotherapy
There are certain types of chemotherapy that are more likely to cause mouth sores (mucositis) including:
• Doxorubicin (Adriamycin®)
• Etoposide (Vepesid®)
• Capecitabine (Xeloda®)
• Docetaxel (Taxotere®)
For those receiving 5-Fluorouracil (sometimes called 5-FU) or high doses of melphalan (Alkeran,) mouth sores may be reduced or avoided by swishing ice chips or cold water around your mouth for the first 30-60 minutes of your treatments. This is called Cryotherapy, meaning "cold therapy." The cold constricts the blood vessels inside of your mouth to reduce the amount of medication that reaches the tissue, therefore reducing your risks of mouth sores.
The ease of application, lack of side effects and cost effectiveness make Cryotherapy a viable addition to help prevent mouth sores.