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Excessive saliva

fasu1948
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2011

Hey, I have a problem. About 3/4 of the way through my radiation treatment for squamous cell in my throat and tongue, I developed excessive saliva. On April 15th, treatment ended but as of today I still have the excess saliva. Has anybody heard of this before. It's driving me crazy and keeping me from getting my swallow back and proper speaking. Anyone know what I can do? I consulted my doctors back in May and they were not concerned, even though its keeping me from getting my follow up PET scan.

denistd's picture
denistd
Posts: 597
Joined: Apr 2009

Believe me, we all had that, it's the body's system at work, it will subside

fasu1948
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2011

When? Its been almost 4 months of it!

Goalie's picture
Goalie
Posts: 184
Joined: Sep 2010

About 90% of the folks here on the list would like to have excessive saliva. Most of us are short by a little or a lot. (I would suggest that you pass the excess around but this is not that kind of a list. This is what most people say when I tell them I am still trying to gain weight: "YOu can have some of mine.") The last time I had excessive in my mouth was late in treatment when I had that thick ropey stuff you could have cut with a knife. Enjoy it while you can. Doug

fasu1948
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2011

I'm sorry. I can't enjoy it. Its gone on too long and as I said its keeping me fro getting better because I can't get my swallow back nor my proper speaking.

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

How is it keeping you from swallowing again? I understand how lack of saliva does (because I am as dry as dust) but how does too much effect your swallow? If it isn't saliva, but mucus, can you take something like mucinex?

I know the third time I had an esophagus stretching, they gave me a shot that COMPLETELY dried out my mouth. (like I get at night) So dried out I couldn't swallow and was gagging with dry heaves. If they have medication that can do this before my proceedure, do doctors have something that they can prescribe you? Like the opposite of salagen.

I am sorry that it's hard for you, I wish I could take some away from you, as I need it desperately, and we could both be better. If it is excessive mucus, mine lasted 6 months.

fasu1948
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2011

THere's too much. When I try to swallow it, I gag. Most of the swallow problem is due to my swollen tongue. The only thing I'm able to swallow is small amounts of miracle mouth wash to numb my throat when its hurting. As I said, My doctors don't seem too concerned but I am going to press the issue next time I see them.

BeacherBum's picture
BeacherBum
Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 2011

When i was struggling with too much mucus, I used allergy medicine to help dry me up. That was counter productive because it also dried up my saliva so it was a toss up. Call and ask one of you nurses and toss the idea out there. i honestly get the best info from them more so than from my actual doctors.

fasu1948
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2011

Odd you should say that. I just started taking some children's Allegra yesterday ( I have a feeding tube). So far its not drying me up.

fasu1948
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2011

THere's too much. When I try to swallow it, I gag. Most of the swallow problem is due to my swollen tongue. The only thing I'm able to swallow is small amounts of miracle mouth wash to numb my throat when its hurting. As I said, My doctors don't seem too concerned but I am going to press the issue next time I see them.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I have the same problems but it is just at night, I wake up and my pillow is wet with saliva. I am not sure what the cause is and why just at night but I have learned to live with it. I am afraid to go to my doctors about it as they may want to put me on something to dry it up and that would be a big mistake.

Also welcome to the family here on CSN

Take care
Hondo

fasu1948
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2011

I don't have it much ao do t night, just a little. My doctors have got to do something or they'll never find out how my treatments went because I can't have the PET scan.
And thanks for the welcome, Hondo.

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

I must be missing something here. You cannot have another PET Scan because of the excess saliva or mucus? Why? There are a few of us that have not had any Pet scans after our radiation. I am only getting scopes, physical exams, and chest X-rays.

fasu1948
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2011

You know for the PET scan you have to lie perfectly still. Well if my mouth is full of saliva and I can't spit, then I can't breath so I can't stay still. That's why I can't do the PET scan. IT takes about 25 minutes of which I could not stay still for that amount of time.

hawk711's picture
hawk711
Posts: 566
Joined: Jan 2010

I, like others, had loads of mucous during and right after treatment. I got a suction machine and that made all the difference in the world to me....I vomited up the swallowed mucous, sorry for the grossness, but I needed to get it out before it was swallowed. the machine was delivered to me and is easy to use. After 4 weeks of using it, my mucous dried up and now I have NO salive, or very little I should say. From one extreme to another, but now I feel good and can eat 80% of what I want. It just all tastes the same really and I never get hungry, strange.
keep the faith fasu, it will go away, but the machine can help you....
all the best Steve

Maxs gramma
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2010

My husband also has lots of ropey crap in his mouth that he cannot swallow, but he cannot swallow ANYTHING. The mucus has been with him for over 6 months now. He has days when he says it seems better, but it has never gone away. Drs say it will over time, but it must be different for everybody. We have tried musinex and lots of other stuff. The thing that seem to work on and off for my husband was a patch worn behind the ear. I don't have the name of it with me as I am at work, but its for motion sickness. Might ask your dr about that. The nurses suggested that when he was in the hospital.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8299
Joined: Sep 2009

Transderm Scōp® (Scopolamine) ~ Motion Sickness Patch

fasu1948
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2011

really? How did that help for the excessive saliva/mucus?

Lelia's picture
Lelia
Posts: 98
Joined: Jun 2011

OTC generic Guaifenesin helps a lot to thin mucus, it's sold at Walgreens/CVS etc as store-label 'Mucus Relief' tablets (easy to crush if you're using a peg), just make sure you get straight Guaifenesin and not a compound intended for colds/allergy. Nearly 8 weeks after tx my husband's radiated throat still produces copious mucus and we've found a lot of relief with both the home suction machine and the Guaifenesin.

fasu1948
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2011

WAs the patch prescrition or otc?

adventurebob's picture
adventurebob
Posts: 691
Joined: Jun 2010

You've got too much and some of us had too little. And no way to correct the imbalance between us. Just another reason to really hate on cancer. Sorry to read about your discomfort. It'll pass someday soon I'm sure. If I was in your shoes I would be eating so much bread.

Bob

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

French Bread and chicken breasts.

fasu1948
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2011

Why bread? Right now I can't swallow well enough to get something like that down anyway

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

I should have said "If I had lots of saliva, I'd be eating French bread and chicken breasts". I'm far enough past treatments that anything I can eat, I can swallow (for the most part).

adventurebob's picture
adventurebob
Posts: 691
Joined: Jun 2010

Pam and I were just fantasizing about having so much saliva that we could eat as much bread and chicken breast as we want without a gallon of water to wash it down. I realize you have your own difficulties eating. No easy eaters in this group.

Bob

DominicM's picture
DominicM
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2010

Doc's gave me Hyoscyamine and I would adjust the dose as needed....worked very very well. My saliva/mucous was so much that I had to basically sleep in a sitting up position for a few months so I would'nt gag. Before the meds I was lucky to sleep 15-20 min before waking up gagging. (It's basically the same stuff as the anti-motion-sickness meds)

Jtoon's picture
Jtoon
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2018

If anyone needs saliva you are welco to it. I am 3.5 Months post treatment and have more saliva than needed.Went to ENT last week he said that was a good thing but sure is annoying.Just started Eating last week and now cannot get enough to eat. So I would say be thankful of too much saliva because the other end (dry mouth) to me would be much worse.

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 4629
Joined: May 2012

Jtoon,

Thanks for the kind offer, lord knows many H&N members could use a little extra mouth juice, but I will have to decline. A 3.5 month saliva vintage is not in the cards for me.

The condition you describe of not being able to get enough to eat might point at having a worm? Is that what you meant about the other  end?

Oh well, welcome to the H&N forum.

Matt

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