Xerostomia following irradiation

Indication for Pilocarpine

Population group: Suitable for both men and women, only adults (18 years old or older)

Alleviation of symptoms of salivary gland hypofunction in patients with severe xerostomia following irradiation for head and neck cancer.

For this indication, competent medicine agencies globally authorize below treatments:

15-30 mg in 3 divided doses daily

Route of admnistration


Defined daily dose

15 - 30 mg

Dosage regimen

From 5 To 10 mg 3 time(s) per day every day

Detailed description

The recommended initial dose for adults is 5 mg three times daily. The maximal therapeutic effect is normally obtained after 4 to 8 weeks of therapy. For patients who have not responded sufficiently after 4 weeks and who tolerate the dose of 5 mg three times daily, doses of up to a maximum of 30 mg daily may be considered. However, higher daily doses are probably accompanied by an increase in drug-related adverse effects. Therapy should be discontinued if no improvement in xerostomia is noted after 2 to 3 months of therapy.

Dosage considerations

It should be taken during or directly after meals. The last tablet should always be taken in conjunction with the evening meal.

Active ingredient

Pilocarpine is a cholinergic parasympathomimetic agent exerting a broad spectrum of pharmacologic effects with predominant muscarinic action. Pilocarpine, in appropriate dosage, can increase secretion by exocrine glands such as the sweat, salivary, lacrimal, gastric, pancreatic and intestinal glands and the mucous cells of the respiratory tract.

Read more about Pilocarpine

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