Antidepressants Induced Dry Mouth

Xerostomia, commonly referred to as dry mouth syndrome, is a result of reduced or absent salivary flow.

Medications are common causes but systemic conditions like diabetes, thyroid disorders, cystic fibrosis and a variety of autoimmune connective tissue diseases which all can affect salivary gland function. Sjögren’s syndrome is the most prominent chronic, inflammatory autoimmune condition that causes xerostomia.

Among medications, antidepressants are one of the common causes for this dry mouth side effect.

Clinical Features of Xerostomia:

  • mucosal dryness
  • oral discomforts and alterations in taste
  • cracked and peeling lips
  • dry nasal passages
  • difficult and/or painful swallowing and speaking
  • untreated Xerostomia can increase the formation of plaque and dental caries.

Let’s begin by answering this question first:

Which of the following TCA is LEAST likely to cause the dry mouth side effect?

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Among antidepressants, TCAs (Tricyclic Antidepressants) carries the most risk of dry mouth side effect. Here is one slide from our academy presentation:

Comparing TCAs Anticholinergic Effects:

Academy members will have access to the following new chapter:

The risk of dry mouth with antidepressants will be discussed in the following sections:

  1. Clinical Features
  2. Questionnaires to Assess Dry Mouth
  3. Antidepressants to Avoid: with the highest risk of dry mouth
  4. Antidepressants to be used with Caution
  5. Preferred Antidepressants with least/no risk of dry mouth
  6. How to Avoid/Reduce Xerostomia risk with Antidepressants.
  7. 10 Must To-Do Management Recommendations for Patients.

Antidepressants Induced Dry MOuth



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