What Medications Can Cause Dry Mouth?


Quick Answer

Medications used to treat Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, lung inhalers, narcotic pain relievers, and drugs used to treat acne, motion sickness and seizures can cause dry mouth, states WebMD. Antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety medications reduce saliva amounts in the mouth, a condition known as xerostomia.

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What Medications Can Cause Dry Mouth?
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Full Answer

Antihistamines, diuretics and drugs used to prevent and treat spasms, nausea and diarrhea often cause dry mouth, according to WebMD. Calcium-channel blockers and beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease list dry mouth as a possible side effect. Certain chemotherapy drugs also reduce saliva production. Oral tissue can become inflamed in the absence of sufficient saliva, leading to increased risk for gum disease or infections in the mouth. Xerostomia often leads to difficulty swallowing, loss of ability to taste, mouth pain and increased risk of cavities, reports the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

As of 2015, over 500 medications are known to be associated with xerostomia, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Studies show that elderly individuals who take several medications with xerostomia-producing effects suffer from severe dry mouth due to the synergistic effect of the drug combinations. Improvements are experienced when the xerogenic medications are eliminated, reduced or exchanged for another less drying drug. Drinking sufficient water and chewing sugarless gum are suggested to help ease the discomfort of dry mouth, adds WebMD.

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