Effectiveness of zinc chloride mouthwashes on oral mucositis and weight of patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy

BMC Oral Health. 2021 Jul 22;21(1):364. doi: 10.1186/s12903-021-01706-w.


Background: Oral mucositis is one of the most emerging and debilitating complications of chemotherapy during the treatment period, which strongly affects the nutritional status and physical and mental condition of these patients. Zinc increased protein synthesis and improved cell membrane stability so passible effective in prevent and treat oral mucositis and promote oral health. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of zinc chloride mouthwash on the prevention, incidence, and severity of oral mucositis in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Methods: The present study was a randomized control trial study. 96 patients with a cancer diagnosis selected from one oncology clinic in the west of Iran. Then they assigned randomly to the zinc chloride group and placebo group. The patients in each group should rinse their mouths every 8 h two times and each time 2 min with 7.5 ml from mouthwash. The severity of mucositis and weight loss examined blindly at the baseline and 3-week follow-up.

Results: The incidence and severity of oral mucositis between groups were significant higher at the end of the second (p < 0.002) and third (p < 0.001) week. The mucositis severity decreased well during the third weeks in the zinc chloride group. The difference in the weight loss was significant higher between the zinc chloride and the placebo group (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Zinc chloride mouthwash was effective in preventing and reducing the severity of oral mucositis and improving weight in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Trial registration We can therefore recommend more studies examine the effects zinc chloride as preventive care at the beginning of chemotherapy to improve oral health and subsequently preventing weight loss in these patients.

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Oral mucositis; Prevention; Zinc chloride.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Chlorides
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Mouthwashes / therapeutic use
  • Neoplasms* / complications
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Stomatitis* / chemically induced
  • Stomatitis* / drug therapy
  • Stomatitis* / prevention & control
  • Zinc Compounds


  • Chlorides
  • Mouthwashes
  • Zinc Compounds
  • zinc chloride

Associated data

  • IRCT/IRCT20160110025929N28