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Effects of medication on parotid salivary flow rates in an individual with dementia of the Alzheimer type

Data available on the relationship between salivary function and specific drug therapy are sparse. We measured unstimulated and stimulated parotid salivary flow rates associated with the drug therapies. Our ancillary study design is an N = 1 double-blind randomized controlled trial in which the patient undergoes a series of treatment blocks of either placebo or active treatment. The purpose of the parent N of 1 study was to find the “best single drug” treatment for a resistive patient diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimer type.

This study demonstrates that thiothixene was associated with inconsistent effects on parotid flow. Oxazepam had no effect on his parotid function, and diphenhydramine hydrochloride had inconsistent but generally negative effects. The data also show that this individual with dementia of the Alzheimer type had lower baseline unstimulated and stimulated parotid salivary flow rates when compared with mean “normal” values; however, flow rates were above the lowest 10th percentile of “normal” volunteers.