Oral Side Effects of Medication

Medicines are invented to cure your disease, but some medicines have side effects, which badly affect your mouth and teeth.Taking medicines whether by mouth or injected can give you adverse effects to your oral health. Oral health is related to the mouth and teeth.Some high potency medicines which are used to treat cancer, severe pain, depression and tension, high blood pressure, allergies, removal of kidney stone, or even the common cold, have bad impact on your oral (mouth) health. So, keep in mind, always use doctor or dentist prescribed medicines or if you are using some common medicines like for a headache or cold, always tell your doctor or dentist about the medicines you are using. Your doctor or dentist should know what ever vitamins or supplements you are using. Itis important for your oral health.

Some of the most common oral side effects of medications are:


Xerostomia is dry mouth. When the flow of saliva in the mouth is reduced or fully absent, it results dry mouth (Xerostomia). Dry mouth gives adverse effect to your oral (the mouth and teeth) heart. When you use some medicines for kidney, common cold or high blood pressure, they usually reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth. When your mouth becomes dry, the mouth tissues cause irritation or inflammation in your mouth.Dry mouth or Xerostomia can increase the risk of mouth infection, tooth decay and gum disease.

Medicineswhich are used in chemotherapy also cause Xerostomia and any other medicines which cause dry mouth are listed below:

  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Parkinson’s disease medications
  • Alzheimer’s disease medications
  • Lung inhalers

High blood pressure and heart medications which usually include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, heart rhythm medications, and diuretics.

  • Seizure medications
  • Isotretinoin, used to treat acne
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Anti-nausea and anti-diarrheal medicines
  • Narcotic pain medications
  • Scopolamine, used to prevent motion sickness
  • Anti-spasm medications

Fungal Mouth (Oral) Infection

The asthmatic patients usually affected by mouth fungal infection because the inhaler they used cause yeast infection. The fungal mouth infection is called oral candidiasis. To get rid of this infection, rinse your mouth with water after using inhaler everytime. To prevent this side effect, drink plenty water daily.

Swelling of Gums

Some medicines cause gum swelling. Gums become built up and got swell which result Gingival Overgrowth (gum swelling) because of the use of some medicines.  Swelling of gums increases the risk of periodontal disease in your mouth.This orals side effect can cause extreme irritation in your mouth.Swelling of gums can cause damage of tooth structure.

Some medicines which cause swelling of gums are:

Phenytoin, a seizure medication

Cyclosporine, an immunosuppressant medicine which is used to prevent transplant rejection

High Blood pressure medicines like calcium channel blockers, which include nifedipine, verapamil, diltiazem, and amlodipine can give bad oral side effect.

This oral side effect is mostly present in men. To prevent this oral side effect, take good care of your oral hygiene and make frequent visits to your dentist.

Inflammation in the Mouth (Mucositis)

Inflammation inside the mouth called Mucositis.The inflammation in themoist tissues lining the mouth and digestive lane is Mucositis. If a person is going through a chemotherapy treatment, then this is the most common oral side effect to that patient. Chemotherapy drugs are high potency and often cause oral side effects. Chemotherapy medicines includ emethotrexate and 5-fluorouracil that damage the cells in the mouth, which cause inflammation. Some kidney disease, HIV and diabetes related medicines can also cause inflammation in the mouth. Mucositis causespainful swelling of the tongue and gums. Due to Mucositis you will have to face, mouth ulcer and gums bleeding. This oral side effect can makeyour eating difficult.

Chemotherapy, HIV and Diabetes medicines that can cause mucositis are:

  • Alemtuzumab (Campath)
  • Asparaginase (Elspar)
  • Bleomycin (Blenoxane)
  • Busulfan (Myleran, Busulfex)
  • Capecitabine (Xeloda)
  • Carboplatin (Paraplatin)
  • Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
  • Cytarabine (Cytosar-U)
  • Daunorubicin (Cerubidine)
  • Docetaxel (Taxotere)
  • Doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
  • Etoposide (VePesid)
  • fluorouracil (5-FU)
  • Gemcitabine (Gemzar)
  • Hydroxyurea (Hydrea)
  • Interleukin 2 (Proleukin)
  • Irinotecan (Camptosar)
  • Lomustine (CeeNU)
  • Mechlorethamine (Mustargen)
  • Melphalan (Alkeran)
  • Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
  • Mitomycin (Mutamycin)
  • Mitoxantrone (Novantrone)
  • Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
  • Pemetrexed (Alimta)
  • Pentostatin (Nipent)
  • Procarbazine (Matulane)
  • Thiotepa (Thioplex)
  • Topotecan (Hycamtin)
  • Trastuzumab (Herceptin)
  • Tretinoin (Vesanoid)
  • Vinblastine (Velban)
  • Vincristine (Oncovin)

Mouth Ulcer

Mouth ulcers are open,small white sores inside the mouth or on the tongue. They are also called canker sores. The people who have stomach issue or undergoing through a chemotherapy drugs are usually suffering from this oral side effect.

Some medicines which cause mouth ulcer are:

  • Alemtuzumab (Campath)
  • Bleomycin (Blenoxane)
  • Capecitabine (Xeloda)
  • Cetuximab (Erbitux)
  • Docetaxel (Taxotere)
  • Doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
  • Epirubicin (Ellence)
  • Erlotinib (Tarceva)
  • fluorouracil (5-FU)
  • Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
  • Sunitinib (Sutent)
  • Vincristine (Oncovin)
  • Aspirin