This article looks at the relationship, if any, between the use of Chlortrimeton (Chlorpheniramine) and dry mouth or cotton mouth. I recently looked at the correlation of Imodium AD and dry mouth to see if this drug fares the same or differently.
What do these terms mean?
Dry mouth is not having enough saliva in the mouth. Dry mouth can be caused by an assortment of illnesses and the use of a variety of drugs including Imodium AD. Johns Hopkins defines dry mouth as the “abnormal dryness of the mucous membranes in the mouth, due to a reduction of the flow or change in the composition of saliva.”
Cotton mouth is a colloquial term for dry mouth. Wikipedia defines cotton mouth as “an oral dryness often associated with certain medicines and recreational drugs.”
Dry mouth is not a disease, but there are many diseases which cause dry mouth. Many medications cause dry mouth as well as other medical situations such as radiation therapy, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, aging and high blood pressure. The word Xerostomia is a technical term for dry mouth.
Chlor-Trimeton is an over the counter drug for allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose. Chlor-Trimeton is the brand name for Chlorpheniramine. Other forms of this drug are Efidac and Teldrin. I found these common brand names, which include: Allerest Maximum Strength Allergy and Hay Fever, PediaCare Cold and Allergy, Sudafed Sinus & Allergy and Triaminic Cold and Allergy, according to the web site of the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Is there proof?
According to Drugs.com dry mouth is one of the effects, albeit not as serious, as other side effects of Chlorpheniramine.
E-medicinehealth.com tells us, “The side effects that are serious are rare, but antihistamines in general may cause dry mouth or cotton mouth as well as effects such as headaches and blurred vision to name just a few.”
Looking at Chlor-Trimeton from a scientific angle Monthly Prescribing Reference notes that drugs such as Chlorpheniramine are called “first generation H1 antagonists.” (Second generation seem not to affect the central nervous system the same way but also may not work as well.) Chlor-Trimeton causes both “CNS (central nervous system) stimulation and depression. Other side effects include dry mouth.”
University of Maryland Medical School
Monthly Prescribing Reference