The findings from the survey of 1,040 Americans show that over half (52%) of those surveyed who are currently taking a prescribed medication have stopped or wanted to stop taking a medication due to side effects like dry mouth. And nearly 1 in 3 (31%) adults have completely stopped taking a medication because of the side effects. Specifically, 21% of those who have ever wanted to stop taking a medication said it was because they were experiencing dry mouth. Dry mouth is one of the most common side effects of medications. Many common medications can cause dry mouth or list it as a side effect, like antidepressants, antianxiety, antihistamines, antipsychotics along with the commonly used medications for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol.
With 50% of Americans on a prescription drug, it is likely that many people are experiencing this condition. When patients take more medication, they increase their risk of dry mouth. They have a 35% increased risk for dry mouth when they are on 3 or more medications. This can be minimized by pharmacists talking to their patients about side effect symptom management.
"Patients head to the pharmacy to get their prescriptions filled, but sometimes pharmacists and patients miss an important opportunity to talk about medication side effects," said Sharon Joseph, senior brand manager, Biotène. "By taking the time to alert patients about side effects like dry mouth, and proactively recommend treatment options, together we may help increase overall treatment compliance and ultimately help people feel better."
The survey also showed a majority of Americans (55%) wish their pharmacist would talk to them more about side effects when they pick up their medication, with those 18-25 even more likely to wish their pharmacist would talk to them about medication side effects (65%).
"Sharing side effect information along with medications can have a two-fold benefit," said Pamala S. Marquess, Pharm.D, president of the Georgia Pharmacy Association, East Marietta Drugs chain store owner, and compensated Biotène spokesperson. "It most importantly helps patients stick with their prescribed treatment plans, but it can also help increase store revenue. Adding an OTC to a prescription drug order to effectively help a patient manage a side effect can increase overall store revenue while also helping the patient be more comfortable and manage a side effect, like dry mouth, that has negative ramifications if left untreated."
Alarmingly, 76% of those surveyed do not even realize dry mouth is a medical condition that should be treated. If left untreated, dry mouth can cause even more oral health problems, increasing ones chances for tooth decay by approximately 3 times. For example, 68% of those surveyed didn’t know dry mouth can lead to cavities. Fifty-four % (54%) didn’t know dry mouth can cause bad breath, and 43% didn’t even know dry mouth can be a side effect of taking medication. Patients can take a dry mouth quiz at Biotène.com.
Biotène offers a full line of products designed specifically to relieve symptoms of dry mouth and related oral irritation often triggered by medications, diabetes, Sjogren’s Syndrome and cancer treatments. The Biotène product range is divided into three categories: moisturizing relief products (gel and mouth spray), hygiene products (toothpaste and oral rinse) and a stimulation product (gum).
About the Survey
The Biotène Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,040 U.S. adults, ages 18 and older between May 1st and May 8th, 2013, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18 and older.
About GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest over-the-counter consumer healthcare products companies. Its well-known brands include Nicorette® and NicoDerm® CQ, the leading smoking cessation products; abreva, the only FDA-approved OTC cold sore treatment to speed healing; alli, the only FDA-approved OTC weight loss aid; as well as medicine cabinet staples, Aquafresh®, Sensodyne,® Tums® and Breathe Right,® all of which are trademarks owned by and/or licensed to GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies.
GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information visit: GSK.com.
About the Georgia Pharmacy Association
The Georgia Pharmacy Association (GPhA) strives to be the leading voice for pharmacy in the state of Georgia. We aggressively advocate for the profession by shaping public policy and scope of practice to enhance the value of pharmacy. We take pride in our prestigious history and value our membership for its diversity in all practice settings as well as its dedication to health care. GPhA provides its members with the resources and support needed to advance our profession. As healthcare changes, so do job responsibilities and career tracks may be refocused. GPhA is your career development partner as you address your future in pharmacy. Professional networking, skills training and continuing pharmacy education are key benefits of your GPhA membership. Whether you are a recent Pharmacy school grad or an established pharmacist with years behind you, there is a place for your voice at GPhA.