Neurontin and Dry Mouth

Of the side effects that can occur with Neurontin, dry mouth has been reported in more people taking it for shingles nerve pain than in those taking it for epilepsy. If this side effect occurs, you may obtain relief by sipping water or sugarless drinks often and avoiding caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. If you continue to experience dry mouth with Neurontin, your healthcare provider may recommend artificial saliva or prescribe a different medication.

Neurontin and Dry Mouth: An Overview

Dry mouth is a common side effect of Neurontin® (gabapentin), a prescription medication approved to treat postherpetic neuralgia (a certain type of nerve pain that occurs after a shingles outbreak) and certain types of epileptic seizures. In clinical studies, up to 4.8 percent of people taking the drug for postherpetic neuralgia reported having a dry mouth, compared to just 1.3 percent of those not taking Neurontin. Dry mouth was less common in people taking the drug to control seizures.
 

Neurontin and Dry Mouth: Suggestions

If you experience a dry mouth with Neurontin, there are a few things that you can do. Suggestions that may provide relief include the following:
 
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow; cinnamon- or mint-flavored candies are good choices.
     
  • Don't use tobacco or alcohol, because they dry out the mouth.
     
  • Use a humidifier at night.
     
  • Sip water or sugarless drinks during meals. This will make chewing and swallowing easier; it may also improve the taste of food.
     
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas. Caffeine can dry out the mouth.
     
  • Be aware of spicy or salty foods, because they may cause pain in a dry mouth.
     
  • Sip water or sugarless drinks often.
     
If you develop dry mouth while taking Neurontin and the suggestions listed in this article do not help, talk with your healthcare provider. He or she may be able to recommend treatments, such as artificial saliva. Also, depending on how severe your dry mouth is, he or she may recommend that you adjust your Neurontin dosage or try another medicine for nerve pain or epilepsy.
 
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