Pharmacotherapy of Xerostomia in Primary Sjogren's Syndrome

Geoffrey C. Wall, Pharm.D., Michelle L. Magarity, Pharm.D., Jeffrey W. Jundt, M.D.


Pharmacotherapy. 2002;22(5) 

In This Article


This uncommon but serious disorder causes significant morbidity. Although systemic manifestations can occur, it is the exocrine dysfunction of SJS that has received the most attention. Xerostomia can appreciably affect quality of life, making simple functions such as eating and talking difficult or impossible. Saliva substitutes are traditional treatment, but effectiveness and patient tolerability have been an issue with them. Muscarinic agonists designed to stimulate residual salivary gland activity can improve xerostomia and often dry eye symptoms. Cholinergic adverse effects, most notably sweating, are common but often tolerable. The role of immunologic modifiers in SJS xerostomia is still uncertain, with many open-label or weakly designed trials showing different results. Exceptional oral hygiene and aggressive treatment of oral infections are indicated in these patients. It is hoped that research into the pathogenesis of this disorder will expand our limited treatment options.


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