Dry mouth caused by medications

Many medications cause the adverse reaction of dry mouth (xerostomia). In fact up to 1800 different drugs are known to have this as a side effect. And 80% of the leading drugs cause dry mouth. It is important to know if you are taking any medications that may have this side effect due to the oral problems it can lead to. Below is a list of common medications that may cause dry mouth symptoms:

Actonel, Accutane, Allegra, Atropine, Atrovent, Benadryl, Cipro, Claritin, Dicyclomine HCL, Diet Drugs, Ditropan Elavil, Exedrin, Fentanyl, Flagyl, Hydrochlorothiazide, Lipitor, Lisinopril, Lovastatin, Midol, Nexium (Esomeprazole magnesium),Prevacid (Lansoprazole), Prilosec (Omeprazole), Simvastatin(Zocor), Sleep medications, Spririva inhaler, Sudafed, Zyrtec.

When you have severe dry mouth, that means there is less saliva to wash food particles away. Bacteria is able to multiply faster in a drier environment because these food particles are left behind and there are less salivary components around to fight the bacteria off, and prevent bacterial growth.

Dry mouth may also cause problems with swallowing and tasting your food, both in which saliva is an aid to. Along with the basic discomfort of dry mouth, severe burning sensations may arise. This is called burning mouth syndrome, and is extremely uncomfortable. Burning mouth syndrome is usually a result of severe dry mouth or combining dry mouth with acidic or salty foods. However, burning mouth syndrome has no known etiology, and may develop on its own without dry mouth needing to be present.

To treat dry mouth, an OTC (over the counter) method may be used at first; Biotene is a company that has developed a toothpaste, mouth rinse, tongue ointment, and tissue spray, all to treat dry and burning mouth symptoms. However, if this is not helping speak to your doctor about either reducing or changing your medications. There are also salivary stimulants such as Pilocarpine (Salagen), or Cevimeline (Evoxac) that can be prescribed.

Cherise Britt RDH