Drugs & Aging

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 55–65 | Cite as

Information for Physicians and Pharmacists About Drugs That Might Cause Dry Mouth: A Study of Monographs and Published Literature

  • Caroline T. Nguyen
  • Michael I. MacEntee
  • Barbara Mintzes
  • Thomas L. Perry
Original Research Article



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Quetiapine Diovan Naproxen Sodium Irbesartan Tamsulosin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to Dr Alphonse Tran and Jassica Kaur-Sarai for their valuable contributions to this project. No external sources of funding were used to conduct this study or prepare this manuscript. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline T. Nguyen
    • 1
  • Michael I. MacEntee
    • 1
  • Barbara Mintzes
    • 2
  • Thomas L. Perry
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of DentistryThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine, School of Population and Public HealthThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of MedicineThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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