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Continuing Professional DeveloPment
Two weeks later Peter returns to
the pharmacy to update you on his
situation. Peter visited his doctor after
speaking with you and his doctor
agreed that the Endep was likely
causing his dry mouth and throat. As a
result, Peter’s doctor changed him
to a new medicine to help with his
depression (Zoloft 50 mg). Peter had to
stop taking the Endep over a few days
(reducing dose), and wait 3 days before
he started the Zoloft (sertraline). He has
only been taking the Zoloft for less than
a week. Peter reports that his dry mouth
has significantly improved, and he is
very thankful for this. He notes that his
mood is not so great, and he is hoping
in a few weeks he will start to notice
the effects of his new medicine. He has
also been referred to a psychologist,
whom he will see next week.
KEy LEARNiNG POiNTS
• Dry mouth can cause a significant
amount of distress and discomfort
• There are various possible causes of
dry mouth including dehydration,
endocrine disorders, lifestyle factors,
Sjogren’s syndrome and medicines
(both prescription and OTC items).
• It is essential that the pharmacist
ascertains a detailed patient history
in order to determine the most
likely cause of dry mouth. In some
cases, treatment with salivary
substitutes or stimulants may relieve
symptoms. However, in cases where
medicines are implicated, if possible,
medicines should be ceased and
replaced with an alternative.
• Non-pharmacological measures
should also be recommended to
patients with dry mouth to assist with
a) is associated with a light coloured urine.
b) is caused by a fluid deficit and/or excess
fluid and electrolyte loss.
c) is considered severe when more than
2% of the body weight is lost through
d) Causes an increase in skin turgor.
2. dry mouth can occur in patients with
diabetes due to:
a) decreased salivary flow.
b) salivary gland dysfunction.
d) lacrimal gland deficit.
3. sjogren’s syndrome is associated
a) a decrease in endocrine gland function.
b) severe dehydration.
c) watery eyes.
d) lymphocyte infiltration of salivary
4. salivary substitutes for dry mouth:
a) Can be mucin- or methylcellulose-based.
b) stimulate salivary flow.
c) are formulated with an acidic ph to
match the natural saliva.
d) are the only available treatment option
5. topical therapies for xerostomia
may damage tooth enamel. which
one of the following may cause this
a) salivary gland electrostimulation.
c) malic acid.
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