Drug effects on salivary glands: dry mouth

Authors

  • C Scully CBE

    1. International Centres for Excellence in Dentistry and Eastman Dental Institute for Oral Health Care Sciences, University of London, London, UK
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Professor Crispian Scully CBE, Department of Oral Medicine, Eastman Dental Institute for Oral Health Care Sciences, University of London, 256 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8LD, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7915 1197, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7915 2341, E-mail: c.scully@eastman.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Objective: To identify drugs associated with the complaint of dry mouth.

Materials and Methods: MEDLINE was searched for papers 1980–2002 using keywords, oral, mouth, salivary, drugs, dry mouth and xerostomia, and relevant secondary references were hand-searched.

Results: Evidence was forthcoming for a number of xerogenic drugs, especially antimuscarinic agents, some sympathomimetic agents, and agents affecting serotonin and noradrenaline uptake, as well as a miscellany of other drugs such as appetite suppressants, protease inhibitors and cytokines.

Conclusion: Dry mouth has a variety of possible causes but drugs – especially those with anticholinergic activity against the M3 muscarinic receptor – are the most common cause of reduced salivation.

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