saliva substitutes

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saliva substitutes

(sa-lye-vasub -sti-toots) ,

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Therapeutic: saliva substitutes
Pregnancy Category: UK


Management of dry mouth or throat, which may occur as a consequence of:
  • Medications (tricyclic antidepressants, antihistamines, anticholinergics),
  • Radiation therapy,
  • Chemotherapy,
  • Sjogren's syndrome,
  • Other illnesses,
  • Emotional factors.


Composition is similar to that of saliva.
Contains electrolytes in a thickening agent (carboxymethylcellulose).

Therapeutic effects

Relief of dry mouth.


Absorption: Minimal with local administration; electrolytes may be minimally absorbed through oral mucosa or with swallowing.
Distribution: Action is primarily local.
Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.
Half-life: Unknown.

Time/action profile (relief of dry mouth)



Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity to carboxymethylcellulose, parabens, or other components.
Use Cautiously in: Situations in which absorption of electrolytes may compromise the patient’s condition, such as potassium and magnesium in patients with renal failure or sodium in patients with HF or hypertension.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Fluid and Electrolyte

  • excessive absorption of electrolytes


Drug-Drug interaction

None significant.


Oral (Adults) Spray or apply to oral mucosa as needed.

Availability (generic available)

SolutionMoi-Stir—mint flavor; Mouthkote—citrus flavor: in squirt bottle, pump spray, spray canOTC
Swabs: Packets of 3OTC
Lozenges: Packages of 100OTC

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess patient for xerostomia (dry mouth) or dry throat before and periodically throughout therapy.
  • Assess gingiva and oral mucosa for stomatitis.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Impairedoral mucous membrane (Indications)


  • Administer as necessary for xerostomia or dry throat.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to swish saliva substitute around in mouth after spray or application.
  • Advise patient of the importance of good oral hygiene in addition to the use of saliva substitutes.
  • Emphasize the importance of routine dental examinations throughout course of therapy.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Decrease in dry mouth and throat.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Originally developed by a physician for his patients to relieve dry mouth and throat, MouthKote from Parnell Pharmaceuticals contains yerba santa, a natural herbal extract indigenous to California.
MouthKote was originally developed to combat dry mouth and throat resulting from radiation therapy, certain surgeries, drug side effects, and aging, but it is also useful for singers, actors, or others who are using their voices for extended periods.