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
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.
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.