World Workshop on Oral Medicine VI: clinical implications of medication-induced salivary gland dysfunction

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 2015 Aug;120(2):185-206. doi: 10.1016/j.oooo.2014.10.027. Epub 2015 Mar 7.


Objective: This study aimed to systematically review the available literature on the clinical implications of medication-induced salivary gland dysfunction (MISGD).

Study design: The systematic review was performed using PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science (through June 2013). Studies were assessed for degree of relevance and strength of evidence, based on whether clinical implications of MISGD were the primary study outcomes, as well as on the appropriateness of study design and sample size.

Results: For most purported xerogenic medications, xerostomia was the most frequent adverse effect. In the majority of the 129 reviewed papers, it was not documented whether xerostomia was accompanied by decreased salivary flow. Incidence and prevalence of medication-induced xerostomia varied widely and was often associated with number and dose of medications. Xerostomia was most frequently reported to be mild-to-moderate in severity. Its onset occurred usually in the first weeks of treatment. There was selected evidence that medication-induced xerostomia occurs more frequently in women and older adults and that MISGD may be associated with other clinical implications, such as caries or oral mucosal alterations.

Conclusions: The systematic review showed that MISGD constitutes a significant burden in many patients and may be associated with important negative implications for oral health.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Salivary Gland Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Salivation / drug effects*