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Oral Manifestations of Commonly Prescribed Drugs

OPEN American family physician | 13 Nov 2020

A Glick, V Sista and C Johnson
Abstract
Drugs are being prescribed with more frequency and in higher quantities. A serious adverse drug event from prescribed medications constitutes 2.4% to 16.2% of all hospital admissions. Many of the adverse drug events present intraorally or periorally in isolation or as a clinical symptom of a systemic effect. Clinical recognition and treatment of adverse drug events are important to increase patient adherence, manage drug therapy, or detect early signs of potentially serious outcomes. Oral manifestations of commonly prescribed medications include gingival enlargement, oral hyperpigmentation, oral hypersensitivity reaction, medication-related osteonecrosis, xerostomia, and other oral or perioral conditions. To prevent dose-dependent adverse drug reactions, physicians should prescribe medications judiciously using the lowest effective dose with minimal duration. Alternatively, for oral hypersensitivity reactions that are not dose dependent, quick recognition of clinical symptoms associated with time-dependent drug onset can allow for immediate discontinuation of the medication without discontinuation of other medications. Physicians can manage oral adverse drug events in the office through oral hygiene instructions for gingival enlargement, medication discontinuation for oral pigmentation, and prescription of higher fluoride toothpastes for xerostomia.
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