drug reaction

Dry Mouth Tied to Certain Medication Classes In Older Adults

Several medications were significantly associated with dry mouth in older adults, including antidepressants and those used to treat urinary incontinence, according to a recent meta-analysis.

The systematic review and meta-analysis included 26 observational and intervention studies that investigated xerostomia or salivary gland hypofunction as an adverse drug outcome among participants aged 60 years and older.

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Among the interventional studies, the researchers found that urological medications, antidepressants, and psycholeptics were significantly associated with dry mouth (odds ratios [OR] 5.91, 4.74, and 2.59, respectively). The observational studies showed that the number of medications and several medication classes were significantly associated with xerostomia and salivary gland hypofunction

“Future research should develop a risk score for medication-induced dry mouth to assist with prescribing and medication management,” the researchers concluded.

—Melissa Weiss


Tan EC, Lexomboon D, Sandborgh-Englund G, Haasum Y, Johnell K. Medications that cause dry mouth as an adverse effect in older people: a systematic review and metaanalysis [published online October 26, 2017]. J Am Geriatr Soc. doi:10.1111/jgs.15151.