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Metallic Taste as a Side-effect of Chemotherapy & Radiation

Metallic Taste as a Side-effect of Chemotherapy & Radiation - MetaQil

Metallic taste is a common side-effect of chemotherapy and radiation. Many patients experience taste changes during and after treatment, that are often described as metallic. Metallic taste can make even your favorite foods taste unpleasant. This can lead to loss of appetite, interfere with healthy eating habits, and cause inadequate nutrient intake. 

What is Metallic Taste?

Metallic taste is a taste disorder known as dysgeusia. It is defined as an abnormal or impaired sense of taste that is often described as persistent metallic, bitter, sour, or other bad taste in the mouth. Metallic taste can develop suddenly or over longer periods of time and can cause major effects on the taste of foods, leading to changes in appetite and eating habits. 

Metallic Taste and Chemotherapy

Chemoradiation therapy patient

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy may cause taste and smell disturbances by destroying taste and olfactory receptor cells. In a study among cancer patients, 29 of 37 (78%) participants described their perceived taste change as metallic. The change was reported after at least two cycles of various chemotherapy treatments.  

Metallic taste is especially common in patients who receive radiation on the neck and head region. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause damage to the cells in the oral cavity which can then result in metallic taste (dysgeusia). The cells in normal taste buds regenerate every 10 days. When radiation therapy kills those cells, they take a longer time to regenerate It is during this time that patients experience taste alterations. 

Chemotherapy medications most associated with taste changes include carboplatin, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, dacarbazine, dactinomycin, doxorubicin, 5-fluorouracil, levamisole, mechlorethamine, methotrexate, paclitaxel, and vincristine.

The Effects of Metallic Taste on Overall Health

Metallic taste caused by chemotherapy and radiation can significantly decrease a patient’s overall health and quality of life due to resulting changes in nutrition. With metallic taste, even your most favorite foods can taste unpleasant, which can lead to poor nutrition, as it causes aversion to certain foods. This also often leads to people eating less or making poor nutrition choices. 

To mask the unpleasant taste caused by dysgeusia, people choose to eat spicier, saltier, or overly sweet foods. As a result of this, sodium and sugar intake often increase and can lead to complications or cause additional health problems. 

One study showed that some dysgeusia patients begin drinking an excessive amount of water, creating a higher risk for polyuria (production of large volumes of urine), incontinence, and falls in the elderly. 


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How to Reduce Metallic Taste in Mouth during Chemotherapy and Radiation?

There are various home remedies that can be used for metallic taste relief. These include: 

Good oral hygiene helps prevent metallic taste
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene 
  • Chewing sugar-free gum 
  • Switching to non-metallic cookware 
  • Rinsing with saltwater 
  • Drinking green tea 

These home remedies can take time to start working. For immediate relief, try MetaQil Oral Rinse. MetaQil is the only product designed to alleviate metallic taste caused by chemotherapy or radiation and restore your sense of taste.  

Foods to Offset Metallic Taste from Chemotherapy and Radiation

Some foods are easier to eat when experiencing metallic taste. These include: 

  • Fish, chicken, eggs, peanut butter, beans or dairy products 
  • Foods marinated in sweet fruit juices, wines, salad dressings, or sauces 
  • Foods seasoned with herbs and spices in order to increase flavor 
  • Frozen, chilled, or room temperature foods may be easier to eat than warm or hot foods 
  • Citrus fruits, fruit juices, smoothies, or sorbets can help activate taste buds and eliminate altered taste 

The Takeaway

Metallic taste is a common side-effect of cancer treatments including chemotherapy, medication, and radiation. Metallic taste occurs due to the destruction of taste and olfactory receptor cells caused by cancer treatments. It is a common side-effect which will eventually get better sometime after treatment is completed. However, during treatment, patients can seek metallic taste relief from home remedies, or MetaQil Oral Rinse which is scientifically designed to alleviate metallic taste symptoms.  

MetaQil is an innovative mouth rinse designed to provide comfort to those who suffer from taste disorders. Our unique sugar-free formula includes xylitol, a low calorie, very low glycemic index sweetener, known to help manage diabetes, weight, and tooth decay. Our formula also contains monk fruit extract. Monk fruit extract contains anti-inflammatory properties to prevent oral diseases in the mouth as well as add a natural antioxidant sweetening agent. MetaQil is alcohol and sugar free. 

MetaQil #1 Metallic Taste Oral Rinse

MetaQil is the #1 solution for symptomatic relief of metallic taste. MetaQil’s scientifically designed formula alleviates metallic taste caused by chemotherapy, GERD, and a variety of medications. MetaQil gently cools the mouth and provides instant, long-lasting relief from metallic taste symptoms. It has a mild flavor and does not “sting” the mouth like an every-day mouthwash. Regular use of MetaQil can help patients return to healthy eating and adequate nutrient intake.

85% of participants in a clinical study preferred MetaQil as a remedy for metallic taste

How to use MetaQil?

For best results, use approximately 5 ml (one teaspoon) of MetaQil®, rinse for 30 seconds, and spit out. MetaQil can be used on an as-needed basis. Use alone or after each time you brush your teeth

Important: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult your physician before using MetaQil. Do not use MetaQil if you are taking any medications that are contraindicated with the product. Please consult with your physician if you have any concerns regarding the use of this product. Keep out of reach of children.

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