Drugs to prevent salivary gland damage following radiotherapy to the head and neck

This Cochrane review of drugs for the prevention of radiation-induced salivary gland dysfunction included 39 studies, while a range of agents was tested the evidence found is not sufficient to highlight much promise in terms of effective preventative treatments.

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Parasympathomimetic drugs for dry mouth after radiotherapy

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The update of a 2007 Cochrane review of parasympathomimetic drugs for dry mouth after radiotherapy did not identify an new studies. The 3 RCTs identified in the previous version provide limited evidence to support the use of pilocarpine hydrochloride in the treatment of radiation-induced xerostomia.

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Small trial suggests limited short-term benefit from 0.1% pilocarpine mouthwash for xerostomia

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Xerostomia is a subjective sensation of dry mouth, this is a common symptom particularly in older adults and has a variety of causes. Pilocarpine is a cholinergic agonist that non-selectively binds to muscarinic receptors in smooth muscles in the gastrointestinal, urinary and pulmonary systems and stimulates the production of secretions from the salivary and sweat [read the full story…]