News for pharmacy professionals
10 Dec 2019
80% of the most commonly prescribed drugs produce xerostomia as a side effect, which affects the quality of life of many patients. As well as these, there are others such as antihypertensives and analgesics that also cause this oral disorder.
In sum, there are more than 500 drugs that can cause the adverse effect of xerostomia. The number of patients who take drugs belonging to these groups is growing.
Xerostomia is the subjective feeling of a dry mouth which is normally associated with reduced salivary flow. Patients who present it will feel their mouth is dry, a sensation of thick saliva, bad breath, and even cracked lips and tongue. In addition, the reduction of salivary flow may favour the onset of dental caries and other opportunistic infections, such as oral candidiasis.
All these symptoms can affect a patient's quality of life, which is why we must take into account the appearance of xerostomia when we have a patient undergoing treatment with drugs that are likely to produce it.
With an ageing population, there will be more and more polymedicated patients, which means an increase in the number of patients presenting with xerostomia.
The pharmacy is an important point in the detection of possible sufferers of xerostomia, although the diagnosis must be made at the dental clinic.
Through the pharmacist’s advice, solutions that improve xerostomia, which will improve the quality of life of these patients, can be provided at the pharmacy.
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