Sodium bicarbonate is a chemical compound that is mildly alkaline. It is also known as baking soda and bicarbonate of soda.
Recommended for Practice
Edmonds, K., Hull, D., Spencer-Shaw, A., Koldenhof, J., Chrysou, M., Boers-Doets, C., & Molassiotis, A. (2012). Strategies for assessing and managing the adverse events of sorafenib and other targeted therapies in the treatment of renal cell and hepatocellular carcinoma: Recommendations from a European nursing task group. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 16, 172–184.
PROFESSIONAL GROUP: Nursing task group; no formal association or description of how the group was brought together was described.doi:10.1016/j.ejon.2011.05.001
Purpose & Patient Population:
PURPOSE: To review effective strategies to assist nurses in caring for patients receiving sorafenib, with the focus on those adverse effects the group felt were most difficult to manage—hand-foot syndrome, diarrhea, fatigue, and oral complications
TYPES OF PATIENTS ADDRESSED: Patients receiving sorafenib for renal cell or hepatocellular cancer
Type of Resource/Evidence-Based Process:
RESOURCE TYPE: Evidence-based guideline
DATABASES USED: PubMed, Cochrane Library, and hand-searching of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing and American Society of Clinical Oncology website
KEYWORDS: Side effect general terms, and specific terms for each side effect (e.g., altered taste, hand-foot syndrome); disease-related search terms included renal cancer, cancer of the kidneys, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver cancer
INCLUSION CRITERIA: Evidence base included wider literature regarding the management of similar adverse events in patients with other types of cancer and other types of antitumor therapy. No other specific criteria were stated.
EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Not stated
Phase of Care and Clinical Applications:
- PHASE OF CARE: Active antitumor treatment
- APPLICATIONS: Late effects and survivorship
Results Provided in the Reference:
Out of 2,469 initial citations retrieved, 37 were included for review. No specific quality evaluation of citations was done due to the nature of the literature, with few clinical trials. No description of the group process used is provided. Findings from citations reviewed were outlined and a review of the literature was provided, but no actual synthesis of evidence exists. Noted is that most evidence in this area is from experience.
Guidelines & Recommendations:
Recommendations for mucositis include oral care, amifostine, and antibiotic paste for prophylaxis. For symptom management, recommendations include ice chips, topical lidocaine solutions, sage tea and baking soda oral rinses, and topical solution containing aloe vera, and advising patient to avoid tobacco, alcohol, and spicy foods, mucosal coating agents (e.g., Gelclair®), hydrolytic enzymes, and treatment interruption. For diarrhea, recommendations are patient education, loperamide, diphenoxylate, cholestyramine, probiotics, tincture of opium, and antidiarrheal agents, and avoidance of lactose, high roughage, fatty and spicy foods, fruit juice, and caffeine. For hand-foot syndrome, recommendations include use of emollients, wearing gloves, and avoiding constrictive footwear, hot water, urea- or salicylate-containing creams, and treatment interruptions. For fatigue, recommendations include encouraging activity, maintaining normal work and social schedules, providing supportive care, and considering antidepressants, methylphenidate, sleep medication, and treatment-free intervals.
This review adds nothing new to the limited body of evidence in this area, and does not include a huge body of literature related to the management of fatigue and diarrhea symptoms. Most evidence reviewed was of low quality and expert opinion. No process by which the group evaluated the evidence strength in order to make full recommendations is described, and the result is generally a listing of previously documented opinions related to the management of these symptoms.
This review provides recommended assessments and management approaches that are at the level of expert opinion only.
McGuire, D.B., Fulton, J.S., Park, J., Brown, C.G., Correa, M.E.P., Eilers, J., . . . Lalla, R.V. (2013). Systematic review of basic oral care for the management of oral mucositis in cancer patients. Supportive Care in Cancer, 21, 3165–3177.doi: 10.1007/s00520-013-1942-0
STUDY PURPOSE: To systematically review oral care interventions for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis (OM) in patients undergoing cancer treatment
TYPE OF STUDY: Systematic review
DATABASES USED: Ovid MEDLINE
KEYWORDS: mucositis, stomatitis, cancer, oral care, oral care protocol, dental care, dental cleaning, oral decontamination, oral hygiene, saline, sodium bicarbonate, baking soda, chlorhexidine, magic/miracle mouthwash, calcium phosphate
INCLUSION CRITERIA: Primary research article, reflects a variety of research designs, rested the effects of intervention on severity of OM or mucositis-related symptoms
EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Review articles, clinical case reports, literature reviews, non-research articles
TOTAL REFERENCES RETRIEVED = 129
EVALUATION METHOD AND COMMENTS ON LITERATURE USED: Hadorn et al. criteria was used to assess the flaws in the selected publications, and levels of evidence were rated using the Somerfield schema.
FINAL NUMBER STUDIES INCLUDED = 52
SAMPLE RANGE ACROSS STUDIES, TOTAL PATIENTS INCLUDED IN REVIEW: Not stated
Phase of Care and Clinical Applications:
- PHASE OF CARE: Active antitumor treatment
The guidelines are as follows.
- Oral care protocols: Oral care was suggested for the prevention of OM in adult and pediatric populations for all types of cancer therapies. No population-specific guidelines were recommended.
- Dental care (by a professional): No guidelines were recommended for dental care in the prevention of OM.
- Normal saline: No guidelines were recommended for normal saline for the prevention or treatment of OM.
- Sodium bicarbonate rinse: No guidelines were recommended for sodium bicarbonate for the prevention or treatment of OM.
- Chlorhexidine: No guidelines were recommended for chlorhexidine for the prevention or treatment of OM in patients receiving standard chemotherapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Guidelines suggest that chlorhexidine not be used to prevent OM in patients with head and neck cancer treated with radiotherapy.
- Mixed medication mouthwash: No guidelines were recommended for mixed medication mouthwash for the prevention or treatment of OM.
- Calcium phosphate: No guidelines were recommended for calcium phosphate for the prevention or treatment of OM.
Oral care protocols are recommended to patients for the prevention and treatment of OM. Chlorhexidine is not recommended for patients with head and neck cancer who receive radiotherapy treatment.
Evidence for interventions to prevent and treat OM are limited, making guideline recommendations difficult.
Nurses should teach patients appropriate oral care to help prevent OM.
Potting, C.M., Uitterhoeve, R., Scholte Op Reimer, W., & Van Achterberg, T. (2006). The effectiveness of commonly used mouthwashes for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis: A systematic review. European Journal of Cancer Care, 15, 431–439.doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2006.00684.x
Databases searched were MEDLINE and CINAHL (1992 to fall 2004).
Search keywords were mucositis, stomatitis, and chemotherapy in combination with prevention, mouthwashes, antiseptic, oral infection, chlorhexidine, chamomile, povidone-iodine, and sodium bicarbonate.
Studies were included in the review if they
- Were randomized studies of the effect of mouthwashes for the prevention and amelioration of oral mucositis in adult patients undergoing chemotherapy.
- Involved mouthwashes for oral mucositis, had a controlled study design, and included an outcome measure of the severity of mucositis.
Seven studies met the criteria. Five investigated chlorhexidine, one investigated iodine mouthwash, and one investigated chamomile solution. All studies randomly allocated participants to either an intervention or a comparison group. One study assigned patients by stratified block randomization. Most studies used a placebo mouthwash or sterile water as a control.
- Patients were adults with a mean age of 53.6 years.
- Among the patients included across all studies, 72% of the patients received chemotherapy, 6% of the patient received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and 22% had unknown treatments.
- The five studies investigating chlorhexidine mouthwash showed no significant effect (weighted mean difference = 0.22; 95% CI = –0.20, 0.63). I
- n the chamomile study, no differences were found between the chamomile group and the control group in either incidence or severity of mucositis.
- In the povidone-iodine study, the iodine group had significantly less severe mucositis and shorter duration compared with the control group; however, the sample size (n = 40; power < 80) was too small to be confident in the findings.
Povidone-iodine was the only agent to show activity for preventing mucositis. Because of the effects of chlorhexidine (e.g., teeth discoloration, bitter taste, unpleasant sensations), the authors concluded that sterile water, 0.9% saline solution, or sodium bicarbonate all are better alternatives.
Shih, A., Miaskowski, C., Dodd, M. J., Stotts, N.A., & MacPhail, L. (2002). A research review of the current treatments for radiation-induced oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 29, 1063–1078.doi: 10.1188/02.ONF.1063-1080
Database searched was MEDLINE (1966–2001). Additional papers were found from reference lists.
Studies were included in the review if they were aimed at prevention, palliation, or reduction of radiation-induced oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer.
Studies were excluded if they were not in English.
More than 50 studies were included. Most were randomized, controlled trials; some were pilot or descriptive studies.
Sample sizes ranged from 10 to more than 200.
Based on the findings of studies conducted to date, no conclusions regarding the agents and their ability to decrease the severity of radiation-induced oral mucositis were possible. Results were inconsistent. The most effective measure to treat radiation-induced mucositis was frequent oral rinsing with a bland mouthwash such as saline or sodium bicarbonate. Consistent oral care, dental care, oral assessment, and standardized oral hygiene were the suggested approaches to managing oral mucositis. Sodium bicarbonate reduces the acidity of the oral fluids immediately; it also dilutes accumulating mucus and discourages yeast colonization.
Findings related to benzydamine were inconsistent. In a trial of chlorhexidine versus benzydamine, patients reported more discomfort with benzydamine and were more likely to discontinue participation in the trial. Chlorhexidine was not effective in reducing the severity of mucositis in three double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Two trials that examined antimicrobial activity failed to show any significant effects on the suppression of any type of oral flora using chlorhexidine.
Dose variations in granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (subcutaneous) trials make it impossible to determine whether this agent has a role in the radiation setting.
Four studies investigated the effectiveness of using topical antibiotics with a more specific spectrum for gram-negative bacteria and yeast. Two placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials, both with fewer than 100 patients, and one case-controlled study investigated the efficacy of amphotericin B (polymyxis E, tobramycin, and amphotericin B [PTA] lozenge) to reduce the severity of radiation-induced mucositis. One study examined tetracaine and antibiotics. Additional work is warranted to determine the effects of the PTA lozenge on mucositis severity, pain severity, and dysphagia. Results for the trial were promising; however, conclusions cannot be drawn because only one study examined tetracaine.
Additional investigation of immunoglobulin and povidone-iodine are recommended.