What is MuGard?
MuGard Mucoadhesive Oral Wound Rinse is a mouth rinse used for prevention and relief of the symptoms of oral mucositis. According to its manufacturer, it creates a moist protective coating for all the mucous tissue inside your mouth. This may help with mouth sores and injuries, aphthous ulcers (canker sores), mouth ulcers caused by dental work or appliances, as well as oral mucositis caused by chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer.
Generic Description: Oral hydrogel
Use For Breast Cancer
Chemotherapy for breast cancer can cause oral mucositis. Your oral mucous membranes are made up of rapidly-dividing cells -- just the type of cells that chemotherapy is made to target. When your mucous membranes don't replace or repair themselves quickly, you can develop mouth and tongue sores. Oral mucositis can be very painful and may affect your appetite and digestion, sometimes to the extent that treatment may be delayed. Mouth rinses and ice chips held in your mouth may help alleviate the pain of mucositis, and there are medications that can also help. MuGard is a pre-mixed prescription mouth rinse that can help you when chemotherapy causes oral mucositis.
How MuGard Works To Prevent and Relieve Oral Mucositis
Most chemotherapy patients develop some mucositis, even if they are taking good care of their dental health and using mouth rinses. The intensity of chemotherapy's side effects (chemobrain, fatigue, low blood counts) increase as treatment progresses, and mucositis is no exception. In clinical studies, patients who used the MuGard nanopolymer formula before chemo or radiation treatments were frequently able to successfully prevent, delay, or significantly reduce oral mucositis symptoms.
MuGard is not a not a painkiller (analgesic), but it works like a liquid bandage to protect you from effects that may cause discomfort.
What Is MuGard Like?
During clinical trials in the United States, MuGard was flavored with citrus and sweetener. According to Jeff Davis, of Access Pharmaceuticals, MuGard can be "flavor masked" to be anything -- for example, chocolate or bubblegum flavored for children. But since patients who participated in testing of MuGard said that flavors had the potential to cause upset stomachs, it will be produced without any flavor for the American market. MuGard has the consistency of a thin milkshake -- thicker than drinking water, but not as thick as gravy or toothpaste.
How MuGard Is Packaged
MuGard comes in a 250 ml bottle of ready-to-use fluid. One 250 ml bottle of MuGard should last for about a week's worth of doses. You will not need to mix anything in order to use MuGard. This drug is available only by prescription from your doctor, and part of the cost may be covered by your health insurance.
How To Use MuGard
For those it's prescribed to, MuGard is typically started as soon as chemotherapy or radiation treatments begin. This may delay, or prevent, the onset of oral mucositis symptoms. You don't have to wait until you have oral pain or mouth sores to use MuGard.
You can use MuGard up to four or six times a day, as needed to help with oral mucositis. As you get used to using MuGard, you'll develop a "feel" in your mouth, so you will know if it is there or if it is time to have another dose. Do not eat or drink for an hour or more before or after using MuGard.
- Measure 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of Mugard into the dose cup.
- Pour the dose of MuGard into your mouth and swish it around for a full minute or longer, coating every surface inside your mouth. If swishing is too painful because of mouth sores, pour the dose into your mouth and roll your head around to distribute the fluid.
- Be sure that you've done a good job covering all of the mucous tissues with the fluid.
- When you've completely coated the inside of your mouth with Mugard, spit out the leftover fluid. Don't worry if you happen to swallow some.
- If a normal dose doesn't completely cover the inside of your mouth, you can increase the dose to 10 ml (2 teaspoons).
No Side Effects
No side effects have been reported, even when MuGard was swallowed, and no overdoses were reported. MuGard does not have any ingredients that interact badly with other drugs.
Precautions When Using MuGard
Plan your dose of MuGard carefully, and don't eat or drink for an hour or more after using MuGard. Especially avoid having a hot drink for up to an hour after using Mugard, because it will melt away, leaving your mucous membranes unprotected. Don't rinse off your MuGard -- it will wear off with time, and you can renew it as needed.
Special Notes About MuGard
MuGard has been given a marketing allowance in the United States from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is already in use in Europe, and will be marketed in Asia. You may be able to get MuGard in the United States by the end of 2009.
Correspondence with Jeff Davis, CEO of Access Pharmaceuticals, September 16, 2009.
Mugard Fact Sheet. PDF document. Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. June 2006.
Mugard Mucoadhesive Oral Wound Rinse. 510(k) Premarket Notification. U. S. Food and Drug Administration. Decision date: 12/11/2006.
Protection from Radiation-Induced Oral Mucositis by MuGardTM Oral Rinse A Clinical Study and in silico Analysis. CM Baud, LE Colon, J Gerberich, DP Nowotnik, SB Howell. Poster presentation at the 18th International MASCC/ISOO Supportive Care in Cancer Symposium, held on June 22-24 2006 in Toronto, Canada.