Caphosol – Artificial Saliva – Prevention and Treatment of Oral Mucositis

Reduce Pain and Shorten Duration of Oral Musocitis During Chemo

Mouth Sores
Mouth Sores. Illustration © A.D.A.M.
What Is Caphosol?
Caphosol is a mouth rinse that is used to prevent and treat oral mucositis. This solution combines a phosphate solution with a calcium solution and purified water to form a fluid that is rich in calcium and phosphate ions. It is hoped that Caphosol solution will lubricate your oral tissues (mucosa) and soak into any mouth sores, reducing inflammation and encouraging healing. Caphosol is not a painkiller (analgesic) but may reduce pain by softening and cleansing dry mouth tissues.

Generic Name: Artificial Saliva Solution

Use For Breast Cancer
Mucositis, a common side effect of chemotherapy for breast cancer, is caused when chemotherapy attacks and kills the rapidly-dividing cells in your mucous membranes. This condition can be painful and often leads to sores in your mouth or on your tongue. Mucositis can spread into your esophagus and intestines. But it starts in your mouth, where it is called oral mucositis. Sometimes holding ice chips and ice water in your mouth during a chemotherapy infusion will help reduce or prevent oral mucositis. Caphosol may be prescribed as an oral treatment if your symptoms increase.

How Caphosol Works To Relieve Oral Mucositis
Caphosol is an electrolyte solution made of sodium phosphate, calcium chloride, sodium chloride, and purified water. The solution must be mixed just before each dose to make sure the phosphate and calcium ions don't separate and become ineffective. Once mixed, Caphosol soaks into the tissues of your tongue, gums, hard and soft palette, restoring moisture into the cells, and lubricating sores and scratchy areas.

It is thought that the calcium ions help reduce inflammation and improve circulation as well as promote healing. The phosphate ions may help cause healing of mouth sores.

How Caphosol Is Packaged
Caphosol comes in a box of 30 doses, which you use at home. The doses are packed as two different solutions, Caphosol A and Caphosol B.

You will mix these immediately before using the solution as a mouth rinse. This product can be kept at room temperature; it doesn't have to be refrigerated.

How You Take Caphosol

  • Plan the timing of your dose so that you won't be eating or drinking anything for at least 15 minutes after you use Caphosol. This helps prevent dilution of the solution and gives it time to soak into dry mouth tissues.
  • Separate one blue container (Caphosol A) and one clear container (Caphosol B) from those in the pack of 30 doses.
  • Remove the caps from the blue and clear containers, and empty the contents together into a clean glass. Do not add water or any other fluid.
  • Swirl the glass of Caphosol around gently to mix the two solutions.
  • Immediately after mixing, use Caphosol as a mouth rinse.
  • Pour half of the solution into your mouth, then swish and gargle with it for one full minute. Do not swallow Caphosol.
  • Spit out the solution, and repeat your swish and gargle with the second half. Again, do not swallow Caphosol, but spit it out.
  • Do not eat or drink for the next 15 minutes.
  • Use Caphosol four times a day for relief of mucositis.

No Side Effects
Research and testing has found no notable side effects or interactions with Caphosol and other drugs or oral products.

Precautions For Using Caphosol

  • Do not eat or drink for 15 minutes after using Caphosol solution.
  • If you have a low-sodium diet, ask your doctor if you can use a smaller dose of Caphosol.
  • Let your doctor know if your mucositis increases or the pain from mouth sores or dry tissues continues, and discuss whether more doses per day would be helpful.
  • Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children.
Special Notes About Caphosol
The U. S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved Caphosol, but they are studying it and comparing it to similar artificial saliva solutions. Caphosol is made in Germany by Cytogen and can be prescribed for patients in the United States.


Journal of Supportive Oncology. Oral Mucositis in Cancer Therapy. Stephen T. Sonis, DMD, DMSc. Published in 2004 Volume 2, Supplement 3.

Journal of Dental Research. Preventive Intervention Possibilities in Radiotherapy- and Chemotherapy-induced Oral Mucositis: Results of Meta-analyses. M.A. Stokman, et al. Published in 2006 Volume 85.

Caphosol Product Literature. Provided by Cytogen Corporation. Printed in February 2007.

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