This study assessed the effectiveness of oral doxepin rinse for mucositis-related pain management in patients following 1 week of repeated dosing. Patients with oral mucositis due to head and neck radiation therapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) were recruited to participate in a 1-week follow-up study. Subjects who gave informed consent rinsed with doxepin (5 ml) during the initial visit and were then told to use doxepin rinse over the next week as needed, three to six times per day, and return for a follow-up visit. At each visit, mucositis was scored using the Oral Mucositis Assessment Scale and oral pain was assessed using a visual analogue scale before and after rinsing. The use of a systemic analgesic was recorded, and side effects were documented. At the follow-up visit, subjects were also asked to retrospectively report average pain scores they experienced over the past week, 5 and 15 minutes following rinse. Nine subjects were enrolled in the study. Statistically significant reductions in pain scores were reported for 2 hours following doxepin rinse during the initial visit (p < .05). Patients recalled that their pain significantly dropped within 5 minutes of rinsing over the week of repeated dosing (p < .05). At the follow-up visit, subjects reported statistically significant pain reduction 5 minutes after doxepin rinsing (p < .05).
These results indicate that doxepin rinsing continues to produce reduced intensity of pain levels over a 1-week span of repeated dosing.