April 11, 2010

Magic Mouthwash: Remedy for Sore Throats and Mouth Sores

It isn't often that your pediatrician gives you a prescription for 'magic' medicine. Especially for something as common as a sore throat. I thought I had heard everything... and tried it, too. Aside from wondering if our doctor was crazy, I couldn't imagine that I've had this "remedy" in my medicine cabinet my whole life - right under my nose - and have never heard of it. Just think of all those miserable sore throats that went untreated. The shame of it!

I have to admit, I was skeptical that a "Magic Mouthwash" would help make a wicked sore throat more tolerable - even numb. However, the doctor insisted that it would
help, and my daughter was suffering. I figured trying it wouldn't hurt. When you or your kids are in that much pain, you'll try anything.

She told us to mix 1 part Maalox, 1 part Children's Benedryl and gargle with the solution. I thought I had both on hand, so I didn't buy any Maalox. When I got home, I discovered that I only had Milk of Magnesia. Lucky for me that the active ingredient in Milk of Magnesia is actually the same one that works in Maalox - there's just a little more of it.

After researching online about the "Magic" mixture (still uncertain), I discovered that there are many different recipes for the mouthwash. The usual concoction contains diphenhydramine (the active ingredient in Children's Benedryl) for pain relief, and an antacid for coating the mouth and throat. Some even have anti-fungal or corticosteroids to prevent secondary infections (such as Hydrocortisone, or Tetracycline). If you try something with a prescription medicine, be sure to clear it through your doctor, though... and beware - the Tetracycline caused complaints of stained teeth.

I read through all of the comments and recipes I found on a mouth ulcer website that was supposedly written by a pharmacist, and found that the recipe my doctor gave me was the least strong of the bunch. Many of the people commenting said that the doctor even told them that the child could drink part or all of the brew after swishing with it. Since Morgan had taken a Zyrtec and I wasn't sure how two antihistamines would work in her system, I only let her swallow a tiny bit of it so that the very base of her throat would be coated (usually where the pain is the worst).

Before she took it, I had her drink 8 oz of water (required by the medication if you drink it), and had her gargle with hot salt water to clean and comfort her throat. She protested, but was thankful I made her do it - saying that it really felt good (a huge thing for someone who couldn't sleep because of throat pain). Then I mixed the "Magic Mouthwash" and let her gargle most of it and drink the last swig.

She complained after she did it that it made her tongue numb and her throat was stinging, tingling, and more painful. We thought maybe the 'magic' mouthwash was just a snake-oil hoax. However, within five minutes, she could hardly feel her throat ... which gave her the peace she needed to get uninterrupted sleep... and let her throat have time to heal. This morning she said she only has a scratchy throat and feels a lot better. The pain is gone.

Who knew?

I tried the stuff on myself this morning since I awoke with a scratchy throat again (the oak pollen around here is thick enough to cut with a knife). I wasn't thrilled with the taste of the stuff (Cherry flavored kid medicine has always grossed me out), but the Milk of Magnesia really makes the flavor more mild. Morgan says it almost tastes like 'bubble gum', but I didn't think so. I can say this: after a few minutes, I was GLAD I used it!

Here's the recipe for our Magic Mouthwash:

1 Part Milk of Magnesia (2 tsp - for her weight and age. She could have swallowed up to 1 tablespoon of this, but to create the mixture we only needed 2 teaspoons.)

1 Part Children's Benedryl (2 tsp - for her weight and age. This was the maximum dosage she could have swallowed if she hadn't taken a Zyrtec.)

1 Part (or a little less) of water (1.5 tsp - to make it easier to stir and mix)

I guess it lives up to it's name. I think having your sore throat eased really is magic. I sure wish I had known about it a long time ago. These over the counter remedies are always around in my house. Now that we know how to make it, we'll be saving ourselves a lot of money on throat spray and cough drops.

Note: I'm not a doctor and you should always check with your physician or pharmacist before taking any medication or giving it to your children. Please be careful!


Peggy Sue Brister said...

I am super fortunate that my two youngest kids never get sick. (I am knocking on wood as I type) We homeschool so they aren't around other little kids germs all day. I think that has alot to do with it. But if they ever do complain of a sore throat I will definitely try this because almost all over the counter sore throat remedies don't really work. Sucrets work for a few seconds, the spray works for half a minute, then pain again. SO thanks for the post.

Jamie {See Jamie blog} said...

I'm going to have to remember this for the future! And sometimes -- especially when I indulge in homegrown tomatoes! -- I get mouth ulcers, and there's just not much that really helps those. So maybe this! Who'd a thunk it. ;)

Unknown said...

We use magic mouthwash all the time where I work. (I work at a children's hospital) It works well if they have mouth sores too. We typically use it for mouth sores or sore throats after being intubated (the breathing tube). You can add flavoring too to make it more palatable. Chocolate syrup is a favorite with our patients. :)

Dana@A Little This~A Little That said...

OMGsh! I never heard of that. So cool, I will have to keep that in mind. thanks for passing it on!

Kelly the Happy Texan said...

That's really something! I've never heard of this magic concoction before. I'll try it next time we have sore throats going around. Maybe they'll never complain about the sore throat again because they're afraid of the medicine? LOL

Thanks for sharing.

tammy said...

I was told about this magic mouthwash years(many) ago when my boys all got Hand, Foot and Mouth. Came in handy when our daughter got it, too. Thanks for sharing it, because it seems many haven't been let in on the secret. :) I never used it for a bad sore throat, though....I'll have to remember this.

Anonymous said...

LOVE this! :) Thanks for sharing....keep 'em coming!

Anonymous said...

I was prescribed Magic Mouthwash for a swollen tastebud a few months ago (who's ever heard of that??) and it worked amazingly well. I woke this morning with a terrible sore throat and figured I'd give it a try. So far, so good.

Anonymous said...

i wish the magic mouthwash was helping me. the doc prescribed it and it tastes awful.... i swish and swallow then have to eat crackers to deal with not letting it come back up.my throat still feels horrible. it also does not make my mouth or throat numb. probably going back to doc this week.

Mrs. Palacio said...

My 2 year old son Charlie was prescribed magic mouth wash today for his mouth sores but there is no dam Maalox in the whole state of Florida it seems, finally got the CVS generic brand of Maalox, anyone know why there isn't any maalox around?

Mrs. Palacio said...

My 2 year old son Charlie was prescribed Magic Mouth wash today for his mouth sores, when the pharmacists at walgreens calls to inform me that they are out of Maalox in all surrounding stores as well, checked Publix, Target & finally settled on the generic CVS brand that has the same formulation as Maalox. So does anyone know where has all the Maalox gone?

Anonymous said...

Major maalox recall. Look for generic or milk of magnesia.



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