If you regularly take one or more medications, you might have noticed that your mouth often feels dry. With more than one thousand medications having the potential to greatly reduce saliva production, it’s no surprise that one study of 131 of the most commonly prescribed drugs found dry mouth to be the most frequently reported oral side effect. So, if you’re experiencing dry mouth, it could be due to your medication. Learn which types of medications are most likely to cause dry mouth, and then talk to your doctor about your options as you seek dry mouth relief.
If you’re taking antidepressants, dry mouth is a common side effect you may have noticed. Many medications in this category, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), are known for reducing saliva production. Examples of these medications include:
You might wonder if dry mouth from antidepressants will go away. For most patients the answer is “yes”. Dry mouth is common during the first few weeks of taking antidepressants, but it should slowly go away as your body gets used to the medication. If it doesn’t disappear within the first month, let your doctor know so you can look for an effective dry mouth treatment or switch medications if necessary.
Mood stabilizers and antipsychotic drugs are often used to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and similar conditions. While they can be quite effective at controlling certain symptoms, they often lead to side effects that include dry mouth. Some of the most common brands in this category include:
Antihistamines and Decongestants
It’s not just prescription medications that can cause dry mouth. Many over-the-counter products, including most allergy medications and products intended to treat the symptoms of a cold contain antihistamines and decongestants with dry mouth as a side effect. These medications, designed to dry up mucus, may also affect saliva and tear production. The following are some common brands of antihistamines that you might have taken for allergies or hives:
Stimulants are often prescribed to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or narcolepsy but, they can also cause dry mouth. This symptom is usually most noticeable when you first start taking your medication, but some people struggle with it long-term and need to seek dry mouth treatment options for relief. These are some of the most well-known stimulants that lead to dry mouth:
If you’re using benzodiazepines to treat anxiety, insomnia, or seizures, you might experience dry mouth as a side effect. These drugs work by slowing down the central nervous system to help you relax or sleep. Some medications in this drug class are:
Prescription medications for pain relief can also lead to dry mouth. Opioids reduce nerve activity, which helps alleviate pain but can also slow down your heart rate, breathing, and saliva production. Some of the most common opioid brands that are known for causing dry mouth include:
If this symptom is too uncomfortable for you to handle long-term, talk to your doctor about changing your medication or trying a dry mouth remedy, such as Aquoral.
Other Medications That Cause Dry Mouth
The above are examples of some of the most common categories of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that can dry out your mouth and throat. But there are many more types of medication that can cause dry mouth, including:
- Antiemetics to treat nausea
- Antihypertensives (blood pressure medications)
- Anticholinergics that treat overactive bladder
- Bronchodilators that treat asthma
- Heart medications
Since there are more than a thousand medications that can lead to dry mouth, this is not a complete list. Even if your medication isn’t on this list, you should tell your doctor if dry mouth is one of the side effects you’ve noticed.
What Should You Do If Your Medication Causes Dry Mouth?
If your medication causes dry mouth, your doctor may discuss various options with you. One option is to adjust the dosage, which might help eliminate side effects like dry mouth. If this doesn’t work or is not recommended for you, your doctor might suggest switching to another medication that is less likely to cause dry mouth.
However, if changing the dose or the medication is not possible, treating the dry mouth symptom may be the best solution. Ask your doctor about prescription medication for dry mouth, such as Aquoral. This oral protective spray can provide rapid relief from dry mouth. Simply spray it in your mouth as needed throughout the day to combat the sensation of dryness.
When you get a prescription for Aquoral, you will get two spray bottles that can easily fit in your purse or pocket. These should last about a month or longer, depending on usage. Each dose provides up to six hours of relief, making it easier to chew, swallow, taste, and talk. Recently, 87% of patients using Aquoral said they got relief with Aquoral and felt it was easy to use. If you want to see if Aquoral works for you, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for Aquoral, or connect with a telehealth physician and start getting relief now!