Author(s): Nguyen CT, MacEntee MI, Mintzes B, Perry TL
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Over three-quarters of the older population take medications that can potentially cause dry mouth. Physicians or pharmacists rarely inform patients about this adverse effect and its potentially severe damage to the teeth, mouth and general health. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to (1) identify warnings in the literature about dry mouth associated with the most frequently prescribed pharmaceutical products in Canada; and (2) consider how this information might be obtained by physicians, pharmacists and patients. METHODS: Monographs on the 72 most frequently prescribed medications during 2010 were retrieved from the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS, a standard drug information reference for physicians and pharmacists), the National Library of Medicine's 'DailyMed' database, directly from the manufacturers, and from a systematic search of biomedical journals. RESULTS: The CPS provided monographs for 43\% of the medications, and requests to manufacturers produced the remaining monographs. Mentions of dry mouth were identified in 61\% of the products (43\% amongst CPS monographs; an additional 43\% amongst manufacturers' monographs; 7\% in the DailyMed database and 7\% from biomedical journals); five medications had contradictory reports in different monographs. CONCLUSION: Nearly two-thirds (61\%) of the most commonly prescribed medications can cause dry mouth, yet warnings about this adverse effect and its potentially serious consequences are not readily available to physicians, pharmacists, dentists or patients.
This article was published in Drugs Aging
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access