Sores in the mouth

Hi everybody. I have just taken my second table of Hydroxycarbamide. So far, so good. I am writing a 'just in case' post as I know that a lot people on this drug have mouth sores. A few weeks ago,on this sight, there was a very helpful post about a mouth rinse for mouth problems.I took down the details and the rinse included water, salt and baking soda. Could someone tell me what is baking SODA? I know baking powder and sodium bicarbonate, but not sure about baking SODA. I can't find the original post, but I often get mouth ulcers, so I would like to be prepared. Any help would be most appreciated.


16 Replies

  • Hi Sandra , , as far as I understand they are all one and same , baking soda / powder / bicarbonate . . . You're right to be prepared as HU often results in bouts of mouth ulcers , , they are a real nuisance. Some of mine were like 5p pieces and I missed salt and vintage on me chips when I had them. Also tomato ketchup used to sting. Ah well small price to pay when I look back.

    Don't waste your money on over counter mouth ulcer 'cures' , they don't work. Stick to mouth washes including salt, soda wash.

    Cheers Chris

  • Thank Chris. It's so lovely to hear from you. I feel as if I know you, with all your trials and tribulations that you manage so well and with such courage. All good wishes to you and your family and thank you again for the tip.


  • Thanks for the compliment Sandra, , I just try to be what it says ont tin. Tell it more of less as it is (not wishing to deter anyone facing transplant decision) with no airs or graces. Found its best to just be yourself . I had a manager many years back who said to me "if you want to get on you need to model yourself on John so and so" . . I thought about what she said and watched the way he sucked up to her and thought chuff that for a game of soldiers. If that is what it takes I'd rather swill pigs out. After that I resolved to be ME and if I wasn't good enough so be it.

    I do hope you don't get any troublesome mouth ulcers, they can be nasty little devils. . Chris

  • Thanks Chris. I've got some possible helpful hints from this site, so I'll be armed if the need arises. Kind regards, Sandra

  • Chris we are extremely glad you are just YOU a treasure to all on this site just by being just that!!

  • Hi Sandra yes baking soda same as baking powder and it does help. I had mouth ulcers particularly when I first took HU (been on it 10 years) and when my dosage was particularly high - and do now and then still now - I found it helped to keep the mouth clean and well rinsed and especially the infamous thing we will all say to you on this site - drinking lots and lots of water - hydration does make a big difference to the effects. Also just hanging in there too as your body adjusts in due course to the drug and initial effects are not so strong. All the best and keep posting!

  • "RECIPE" for Mouth Sores Rinse.

    Hi. I put that recipe on. I got it from my oncologists' nurse practitioner. In the U.S. (where I live) there is a difference between Baking Powder & Baking Soda. Her recipe is using 1 teaspoon BAKING SODA, 1 teaspoon Salt and 16 ounces of water. You mix well until dissolved. Every two days make a fresh batch. Try and swish it around for up to 1–2 minutes before spitting it out. Then don't drink or eat anything for awhile. Repeat this 2-3 times each day. Once I clear my sores up using this I can go days before needing it again so I make a new batch. (I also mix mine a little each time before using because it seems to settle.)

    Another really helpful thing I read online is to use the softest tooth brush available AND hold it under hot water before putting on your toothpaste. This softens the bristles even more.

    Good Luck! Katie

  • Hi Katie, I was trying to think of your name. Thank you so much for the recipe and instructions. I'm sure it wont be long before I'm needing it.


  • Hello Sandra,

    Happy New Year!

    Not sure where you are from but in Ireland baking powder is different to baking soda too, it is know as BREAD SODA as it is used to make soda bread. Just ask in your local supermarker for bicarbonate of soda look for it in the baking section, or ask in your local pharmacy. The baking powder has other ingredients that are acidic and might irriate your mouth.


  • Thanks Susie. That's why I asked, as I have sodium bicarbonate in my cupboard. Fortunately, I've just taken my 1st 3 Hydroxy pills and haemotologist had no trouble so far. I live in Wales,but did live in Ireland many moons ago.


  • You are welcome Sandra, I bake a lot for the family and our grandchildren, so familar with the various potions! I used to holiday in Wales, a beautiful part of the world. Glad you have had no problems with HU, long may it last, I am on it since the summer and so far no problems, a bit of a sore mouth but no ulcers. Mind yourself and I hope Ireland was good to you while you were here, I have a lot of family who moved to the UK and they love living there.


  • Wikipedia says"Sodium bicarbonate (IUPAC name: sodium hydrogen carbonate) is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3. It is a salt composed of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda (sodium carbonate). The natural mineral form is nahcolite. It is a component of the mineral natron and is found dissolved in many mineral springs. It is among the food additives encoded by the European Union, identified as E 500. Since it has long been known and is widely used, the salt has many related names such as baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda, and bicarbonate of soda.

  • Wow! I didn't know all that. Thanks Jane.


  • Jane, you seem to have cleared up my confusion. Many thanks.


  • I use salt water. But my GP also prescribes me corsodyl mouthwash and bonjela. These do help with the pain, and as we don't pay for our prescriptions it is a bonus.

  • Thanks Steven. I've had some really helpful suggestions. I live in Wales where, fortunately, everybody has free prescriptions, so that's not a problem. I've only just started on Hydroxycarbamide, so I've not had any problems as yet, but I'm trying to anticipate them.

    All the best


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