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Quintessence Int. 1998 Nov;29(11):705-10.

Candida albicans levels in patients with Sjögren's syndrome before and after long-term use of pilocarpine hydrochloride: a pilot study.

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  • 1Division of Oral Medicine-Diagnosis, University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry, Minneapolis, USA.



The purpose of this study was to compare the quantities of oral Candida albicans in patients with primary and secondary Sjögren's syndrome before and after the use of orally administered pilocarpine hydrochloride for 1 year.


Twelve female subjects with primary (n = 4) and secondary (n = 8) Sjögren's syndrome (mean age +/- SEM = 56.7 +/- 5.7 years) were enrolled in the study, after meeting rigid enrollment criteria. Oropharyngeal collection of samples and culturing was performed on each subject. Cultures specific for Candida albicans were plated into a culture media tube using the Oricult kit and also by serial dilutions and plating by a streptomycin-vancomycin technique. Cultures were incubated for 48 hours at 37 degrees C. The subjects used 5 mg of pilocarpine hydrochloride, administered orally three times daily, for 1 year, after which both of the Candida cultures were repeated. None of the subjects used antifungal medications, none smoked, and all were dentate.


There was a significant difference in the prevalence of Candida after the use of pilocarpine hydrochloride for both groups. At the start of the study, 75% of all subjects were positive for Candida. Following the use of pilocarpine, 25% had positive cultures. There was also a decrease in the prevalence of clinical manifestations of infection from 75% of subjects to 25%. There was a significant decrease in the numbers of Candida cultured following the use of pilocarpine.


Long-term administration of pilocarpine hydrochloride resulted in a significant reduction in Candida albicans colonization in patients with primary or secondary Sjögren's syndrome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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