Background Xerostomia is the subjective experience of oral dryness and is reported in up to 88% of advanced cancer patients. Despite use of mouthwashes, artificial saliva and hydration, studies reveal that xerostomia persist or deteriorate admission. Thus, newer saliva stimulating agents have become increasingly popular. XyliMelts are an example of this newer alternative.
Aims To ascertain whether using Xylimelts amongst hospice in-patients reduces the degree patients are affected by sore/dry mouth
Methods Data was collected prospective at the Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff and Vale over a 4-month period. Patients with refractory dry mouth were identified. This was defined as failure to respond to daily use of Glandosane spray and Biotene Oral Balance Gel. Once identified, patients were asked to grade the degree they had been affected by a sore/dry mouth over the past 3 days, using IPOS scores. This score was repeated after Xylimelt use. A score of 4 reflected they were overwhelming affected by the symptom whereas a score of 1 indicated they were only slightly affected.
Results 18 patients received Xylimelts over the 4 months in our 28-bedded hospice. 93% of these patients had a cancer diagnosis. Results suggest that XyliMelt use was effective at alleviating dry mouth with a p-value of 0.007, mean IPOS score of 3.1 (pre-use) and 1.6(post-use). XyliMelt use was well tolerated with no reported adverse reactions amongst our patient group.
Conclusion Xylimelts appears to be effective and well tolerated amongst hospice in patients with refractory xerostomia.
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