Zyprexa and Dry Mouth

by on July 1, 2012

Zyprexa (olanzapine) is an atypical antipsychotic medication used in the treatment of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Patients taking this medication can experience certain side effects. Dryness of the oral cavity or mouth is one of the most common side effects reported by patients taking Zyprexa. Clinical studies show that about 32 percent of people taking Zyprexa reported experiencing dry mouth.

It is not entirely clear how Zyprexa causes dry mouth. But if this side effect becomes apparent, there are several things that you can do to manage it.

What to do

Here are some tips on how to manage dry mouth due to Zyprexa.

  • Sip small amounts of water or sugarless drinks every now and then.
  • Sip small amounts of water or sugarless drinks while eating. This will help make chewing and swallowing easier. It also helps improve the taste of foods.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, sodas, and tea. Caffeine can cause dry mouth.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco. They can also cause dry mouth.
  • If possible, use humidifier in your office during work or in your room at night.
  • Sugarless gum and sugarless hard candy can help increase saliva in the mouth. You can try using them.

If these suggestions do not help improve or reduce your dry mouth, it is best to consult your healthcare provider. He or she might recommend a treatment for dry mouth such as use of artificial saliva. Also, depending on the severity of your side effects, particularly excessive dry mouth, your healthcare provider may also recommend adjustment of your Zyprexa dosage or may switch your current drug to another types of antipsychotic medication.