Clozapine and Dry Mouth

Side effects are possible with clozapine, and dry mouth is one of them, reported in up to 6 percent of people taking the drug. Methods that may provide relief include sucking on hard candy or sipping water or sugarless drinks often. If you continue to experience problems with clozapine and dry mouth, your healthcare provider may recommend artificial saliva or switch you to a different medication.

Does Clozapine Cause a Dry Mouth?

Clozapine (Clozaril®, FazaClo®) is a prescription medicine used to treat schizophrenia. Like other medicines, it can cause side effects, one of which is a dry mouth. Previous clinical studies have shown that up to 6 percent of people reported dry mouth as one of the clozapine side effects.

Clozapine and Dry Mouth: Recommendations

If you are taking clozapine and dry mouth becomes a problem, there are a number of things that you can do. Some of these suggestions include:
  • Sipping water or sugarless drinks often.
  • Sipping water or sugarless drinks during meals. This will make chewing and swallowing easier. It may also improve the taste of food.
  • Avoiding drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas. Caffeine can dry out the mouth.
  • Avoiding tobacco or alcohol; they dry out the mouth.
  • Using a humidifier at night.
  • Being aware that spicy or salty foods may cause pain in a dry mouth.
  • Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow; cinnamon- or mint-flavored candies are good choices.
If you have a dry mouth while taking clozapine and the suggestions in this article do not help, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider. He or she may be able to recommend treatments, such as artificial saliva. Also, depending on the severity of your dry mouth, he or she may also recommend that you adjust your clozapine dosage or try another schizophrenia medication.
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