Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Propolis for Oral Mucositis in Patients Receiving Chemotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer

  • Akhavan-Karbassi, Mohammad Hasan (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases Diagnosis, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Yazdi, Mohammad Forat (Department of Internal Medicine, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Ahadian, Hakimeh (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases Diagnosis, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences) ;
  • Sadr-Abad, Maryam Jalili (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases Diagnosis, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences)
  • Published : 2016.07.01


Background: Propolis based preparations have a wide range of applications in various specialties of dentistry. The aim of this clinical trial was to test the efficacy of propolis as a mouthwash in the reduction of chemotherapy induced oral mucositis (OM) in a single center. Materials and Methods: In this randomised, controlled study patients undergoing chemotherapy were included consecutively and randomised to an experimental group receiving propolis mouthwash (n = 20) and a control group receiving diluted water (n=20). Oral mucositis, erythema and eating and drink ability were assessed at baseline and after 3 and 7 days using the World Health Organization (WHO) scale and the oral mucositis assessment scale (OMAS). Results: There were significant differences in OM, wound and erythema in propolis group compared to placebo, but no significant difference in eating and drink ability. However, it was interesting that 65% of the patients in the propolis group were completely healed at day 7 of the trial. No significant adverse events were reported by the patients. Conclusions: This study found that oral care with propolis as mouthwash for patients undergoing chemotherapy is an effective intervention to improve oral health. Our findings shouldlencourage health practitioners to apply propolis mouth rinse for the oral care of patients under chemotherapy.


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