This study was aimed at assessing the efficacy of allopurinol mouthwashes in the treatment of 5-fluorouracil-induced stomatitis. A randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was thus designed to test its efficacy to treat oral mucositis in advanced cancer patients receiving 5-fluorouracil-containing chemotherapy. There were 44 patients randomized to receive allopurinol mouthwashes, or placebo, as soon as mucosal lesions were observed during any treatment cycle. Stomatitis was evaluated at the end of each 5-day treatment cycle. Allopurinol mouthwashes resolved stomatitis in 9 of 22 treated patients (40.9%), and diminished its intensity in 10 more patients (45.4%); stomatitis resolved completely in none of the 22 patients, and partially in 3 patients in the placebo group (p < .001 by chi 2 test). Duration of symptoms was also significantly different between the two groups (median: 4 days for the allopurinol group, 7.5 days for the control group; p < .0005 by Student's t-test). In conclusion, our results suggest that allopurinol mouthwashes can be effective to treat 5-fluorouracil-induced stomatitis.
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