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April JADA explores pilocarpine and xerostomia

March 25, 2016

By Michelle Manchir

Pilocarpine offers statistically significant clinical benefits for the symptomatic relief of radiation-induced xerostomia in patients with head and neck cancer, according to research published in the April issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.
    
The authors of the systematic review, "Efficacy and Safety of Pilocarpine for Radiation-Induced Xerostomia in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer," suggest that these patients take five milligrams of pilocarpine three times daily — and that there is a need for further study.
    
"Practicing dentists should pay attention to the life quality of patients, especially those after radiotherapy who may have xerostomia to varying degrees," said Xi-Kun Zhou, Ph.D., one of the article's authors and an assistant investigator at the State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center at Sichuan University in China. "To manage xerostomia, pilocarpine can be a good choice for dentists. Rational drug use may help the patients a lot."
    
The full article can be read online at JADA.ADA.org.
    
Other highlights of April JADA include clinical practice guidelines for caries prevention in people with Sjögren disease and an accompanying video; a review of the methods, interpretation and limitations of meta-analysis; and an assessment of the evidence for managing the care of patients undergoing dental surgery while taking novel oral antiplatelet drugs.

Every month, JADA articles are published online at JADA.ADA.org in advance of print publication. The entire April issue is available online.
    
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