Ipratropium bromide spray as treatment for sialorrhea in Parkinson's disease

Mov Disord. 2007 Nov 15;22(15):2268-73. doi: 10.1002/mds.21730.


Sialorrhea is a significant problem in advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). Current treatment options include systemic anticholinergics which frequently cause side effects. We hypothesized that sublingual application of ipratropium bromide spray, an anticholinergic agent that does not cross the blood brain barrier, may reduce drooling without systemic side effects. We performed a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study in 17 subjects with PD and bothersome drooling. Patients were randomized to receive ipratropium bromide or placebo (one to two sprays, maximum of four times per day) for 2 weeks followed by a 1 week washout and crossover for further 2 weeks of treatment. The primary outcome was an objective measure of weight of saliva production. Secondary outcomes were subjective rating of severity and frequency of sialorrhoea using home diaries, United Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) part II salivation subscore, parkinsonian disability using UPDRS, and adverse events. Ipratropium bromide spray had no significant effect on weight of saliva produced. There was a mild effect of treatment on subjective measures of sialorrhea. There were no significant adverse events. Ipratropium bromide spray was well tolerated in subjects with PD. Although it did not affect objective measures of saliva production, further studies in parkinsonism may be warranted.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cholinergic Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Cholinergic Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ipratropium / administration & dosage*
  • Ipratropium / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Saliva / drug effects
  • Sialorrhea / drug therapy*
  • Sialorrhea / etiology
  • Treatment Failure


  • Cholinergic Antagonists
  • Ipratropium