Xerostomia, commonly referred to as dry mouth or cotton mouth, can be caused by everything from stress and anxiety to cold medicines and health problems. While stress, anxiety, and the common cold will go away, however, some health conditions and medications can contribute to regular cotton mouth. As a result, a dry mouth can quickly go from a mild inconvenience to a health and dental problem all of it’s own. Anafranil, a brand name form of clomipramine, is one drug that may cause xerostomia.
What is Anafranil (clomipramine)?
Anafranil is the brand name form of clomipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant. According to Netdoctor.com, Anafranil is used to treat depression, phobic or obsessional disorders, and muscle weakness associated with narcolepsy. Anafranil is only available in the United States with a prescription from a doctor or a psychiatrist, and should only be used under regular doctor’s supervision. The use of Anafranil may result in some unwanted side effects, each of which should be discussed with your health care provider to ascertain whether or not clomipramine is the best medication to treat your condition. The best drug choice will always be the medication that has the best result and the least amount of unwanted side effects.
What is Xerostomia (cotton mouth/dry mouth)?
Xerostomia is a condition where the body fails to produce saliva, resulting in a dry mouth. The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that cotton mouth may be caused by medication, diseases, or cancer therapy. Many people report experiencing the occasional dry mouth during times of stress. For the later group, xerostomia is a mild inconvenience that will go away when the stressful situation ends. It is unlikely to cause any additional problems. However, for those in the first group, Dentistry.com reports that xerostomia may cause dental problems such as cavities or gum disease.
Does Anafranil cause Xerostomia?
It does appear that dry mouth is a side effect of Anafranil. Netdoctor reports that “this medicine can cause a dry mouth, which may increase the risk of tooth decay with long-term use of the medicine.” Unlike cold medicines with cold medicines that cause cotton mouth, your use of Anafranil is likely to be prolonged. As a result, consulting your doctor and dentist about any dry mouth that you experience is essential. It may be determined that Anafranil is not the best medication to treat your depression, especially if the dry mouth is severe and causing dental problems.
While antidepressants such as Anafranil are a godsend to many, it’s important to regularly monitor any resulting side effects to determine if the medication’s benefits outweigh the risks and potential problems.
Netdoctor; Anafranil; http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/100000124.html
Oral Cancer Foundation; Xerostomia Information for Dentists; Helping Patients with Dry Mouth; http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/dental/xerostomia.htm
Dentistry; Xerostomia; http://www.dentistry.com/articles/Medications_That_May_Cause_Xerostomia_Dry_Mouth.aspx