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What is Amlexanox?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Amlexanox is a topical oral medication available for treatment of ulcers inside the mouth. Known by brand names like Apthasol®, the drug is accessible by prescription only. A doctor may establish a standing prescription for a patient with a history of oral ulcers to make sure the patient can start treatment as soon as possible when sores start to develop. Pharmacies usually stock this drug and can order it rapidly if a patient needs it and they do not normally have it available.

This medication consists of a paste with a suspension of amlexanox mixed in. The patient smears the paste on her finger or an applicator like a cotton swab, and then gently applies it to each oral ulcer. Usually, patients take the medication four times a day, and must continue taking it as the sores in the mouth start to heal. If this takes more than 10 days, the patient can talk to a doctor about the situation.

The drug acts as an anti-inflammatory, reducing pain and swelling, as well as coating the ulcer. This can give it a chance to heal, rather than being irritated by food and saliva. It will reduce immediate pain and swelling to keep the patient more comfortable, in addition to speeding the healing process so the patient will feel better more quickly. Patients may need to take special care with their diets, avoiding crunchy, sticky, very sweet, or hot foods, while the ulcer heals.

Some patients experience amlexanox side effects like increased pain, stinging, nausea, and diarrhea. If side effects become acute, people should stop taking the medication and contact a doctor. They may have a drug allergy or could have a more serious underlying medical issue that the drug will not address. A doctor can evaluate the patient, explore other methods of controlling oral ulcers, and check for the signs of other diseases in case the patient needs additional treatment.

People can store amlexanox in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children and pets. If someone swallows a large amount of the medication, it is advisable to consult a doctor to get advice on how to proceed. The patient may only experience some indigestion while the amlexanox passes through the gut. People who keep the medication on hand to treat oral ulcers should monitor their supplies and request a new prescription if they run low or the medication expires.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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