The sensation of oral dryness is primarily due to salivary gland hypofunction and to the
resultant decrease in the flow of saliva. These changes are mainly caused by systemic diseases
and by the intake of dryness-inducing (xerogenic) medications. Of the 24 most frequently prescribed
drugs in the United States in 2001, 63% of the generics and 52% of the brand name drugs were xerogenic1.
Moreover, it has been shown that the prevalence of dry mouth is directly proportional to the
total number of drugs taken per day. There are about 1800 drugs in 80 drug classes which have
the capacity to induce xerostomia.
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Though present in subjects of all ages, the presence of oral dryness is particularly
common among the elderly. More than any other sector of the population, it is they
who have more diseases and take more drugs. Recent studies have shown that 52% of
the men and 65% of the women greater than 65 years of age take drugs on a daily basis.
Eleven percent of the males and 24% of the females take more than 4 drugs per day.
Adverse reactions to drugs occurs 3 times more frequently in the older population.
This "Practitioner Portal" is about DRUGS and DRY MOUTH. It enables health providers to
rapidly identify those drugs which induce oral dryness. It provides their generic and U.S.
brand names, the class of drugs to which they belong, how they are supplied and their
dryness-inducing potential. Summary information about drugs which may induce dryness of
the eyes is also shown. Moreover, data are provided regarding the causes, symptoms, signs
and treatment of xerostomia. The principal goal of this portal is to increase the awareness
of the medical community , patients and the pharmaceutical industry to the morbid associations
and consequences of the drug-dry mouth relationship. It is a guide, therefore, for physicians,
dentists, nurses, dental hygienists, patients, pharmacists, the pharmaceutical industry, medical
and social scientists and others interested in evaluating and improving the people's health.
Please refer to the Disclaimer found on the Drymouth.info home page for important notices
pertaining to this portal.