Bentyl (dicyclomine) is a prescription drug that is most often given to patients as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an intestinal condition. Bentyl is prescribed to relieve gastrointestinal muscle spasms associated with IBS. Bentyl is one brand name for dicyclomine. Dicyclomine is also available in generic form. It is an antispasmodic and anticholinergic agent.
Bentyl and Xerostomia (Dry Mouth, Cotton Mouth)
According to MedicineNet and Drugs.com, Bentyl has varied side effects, including a moderate instance of xerostomia, also known as dry mouth or cotton mouth. As stated on Drugs.com, in regards to pharmocological data involving a group of clinical trials, a little more than one third of patients taking Bentyl (dicyclomine) for IBS reported experiencing xerostomia.
Dry mouth happens when the body is not producing enough saliva. Symptoms of xerostomia can include a dry feeling in the mouth, the frequent need to drink fluids, mouth sores, cracks in the lips, a dry throat, burning or stinging in the mouth or throat, a red or dry tongue that may also be raw, difficulty with normal mouth functions (tasting, chewing, speaking, swallowing), hoarse voice, dry nasal cavities, bad breath and a sore throat.
How to Get Rid of Xerostomia Caused by Bentyl
To cure xerostomia, there are varied choices. The right one will depend on the individual. One might want to first try using a fluoride mouth rinse, as well as being sure to brush the teeth with fluoride toothpaste.
Sucking on hard candies or chewing gum may also help dispel the xerostomia. Just be sure that it is sugarless. A more obvious option is to also drink plenty of water and even suck on ice chips. Sometimes breathing through the mouth can cause or worsen xerostomia, so try to concentrate most breathing to the nasal area.
There also are saliva substitutes sold over the counter at most pharmacies. In addition, using a room vaporizer to moisturize the air could help reduce xerostomia.
If none of these options is working, another way to get rid of the xerostomia is to reduce the dosage of the medicine being taken. However, this may also reduce the efficacy. Discuss this and other options with your doctor. Switching to an alternative to Bentyl, such as glycopyrrolate, methscopolamine bromide or propantheline bromide, might help as a last resort. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons with your physician. Getting rid of xerostomia is of course one possible benefit. However, be sure you discuss possible downsides to switching as well.
The author is not a medical professional. This guide is intended for informational purposes only. Be sure to consult your physician for any medical concerns and advice.