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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Products that are chemical solutions containing citric acid (the substance that makes our mouth water when we bite into a lemon or grapefruit) are commercially available such as Mouth-Kote (Parnell Pharmaceuticals), and Optimoist (Colgate-Palmolive).
Ellin LaVar Textures includes 12 SKUs, including OptiMoist Shampoo, DetangleMist and NaturalControl, and it will be available in all CVS outlets starting in February at prices ranging from $7.99 to $9.99.
The product line features 12 Ellin LaVar Textures items, including OptiMoist Shampoo, DetangleMist and NaturalControl.
Also last year Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals launched Optimoist oral moisturizer for the 19 million Americans suffering from dry mouth and dry throat problems.
"Optimoist provides patients and the medical community with a simple, effective and safe product that soothes the discomfort of dryness without demineralizing tooth enamel.
With its Optimoist oral moisturizer, Colgate was also one of at least three vendors introducing O-T-C products to relieve dry mouth.
Also listed in the broad antiseptic category are Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals' Orabase, Peroxyl and Optimoist. Orabase gel, which was launched in February, is an analgesic meant to be put directly on areas in the mouth affected by canker sores and wounds.