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Oral Dis. 2007 Jan;13(1):88-92.

Pilocarpine treatment in a mixed cohort of xerostomic patients.

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Salivary Gland Clinic, Department of Oral Medicine, The Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel.



To compare the effect of a single 5-mg dose of pilocarpine hydrochloride on the salivary flow rate in three groups of xerostomic patients.


Forty-five patients were divided into three groups according to the etiology of their xerostomia: (i) radiotherapy; (ii) Sjögren's syndrome; and (iii) sialosis and xerogenic medications. Following the oral administration of a 5-mg pilocarpine hydrochloride tablet blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and saliva secretion rates were monitored hourly for 3 h and adverse events were reported.


The most significant and persistent elevation of salivary flow rate was observed in the sialosis/drug-induced group followed by the Sjögren's syndrome group. The radiotherapy group presented a significant elevation of salivary secretion rate after 1 and 2 h, but returned to baseline at 3 h. No significant changes in vital signs were reported, except for low diastolic pressure measured at 1 h in the radiotherapy group. Several adverse events were recorded throughout the trial; however, only one patient withdrew from the study.


Treatment with pilocarpine hydrochloride tablets may improve saliva secretion in patients taking xerogenic medications and/or suffering from metabolic sialosis expanding the beneficial potential of this sialogogue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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