Oral mucositis associated with head and neck radiotherapy can substantially hinder completion of cancer therapy. Alleviation of this often severe stomatitis can provide enhanced patient comfort and facilitate appropriate care.

A double-blind format was used in a pilot project to measure, against a control rinse, the effectiveness of an oral rinse consisting of hydrocortisone, nystatin, tetracycline, and diphenhydramine in controlling radiation-related mucositis. A combination of clinical evaluation and patient responses to a questionnaire was used to judge the results of the topical medications.

Patients using the experimental medication developed less mucositis than did patients in the control group.