Salagen

1 What is Salagen?

Generic: Pilocarpine HCI

Salagen is used to relieve excess dryness of the mouth during radiation treatment. Excess secretion of saliva may occur after radiation treatment for cancer of the head and neck or in patients with Sjogren's syndrome. Salagen may aid you in speaking without having to sip liquids.

Salagen may also help with chewing, tasting, and swallowing. The need for other oral comfort agents, such as hard candy, sugarless gum, or artificial saliva agents may be reduced by this drug. This drug can also be used to treat dryness of the eyes caused by Sjogren's syndrome. This drug requires a prescription.

2 What To Know Before Using

Before taking the drug Salagen, its risks and benefits for your body should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.

Data comparing the use of Salagen in children with use in other age groups are still unavailable. This drug has not been reported to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults. Adverse effects have been reported in animal studies but studies in pregnant women or animals are still inadequate. Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding.

Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits before taking Salagen while breastfeeding. Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as Tegafur. Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco. Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as:

3 Proper Usage

To prevent any side effects, take Salagen exactly as directed in the label or as prescribed by your doctor. Regular visits to your dentist should be done to have your mouth checked, since having a dry mouth condition makes you more likely to have dental and other mouth problems. The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients.

The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug. Adults with dryness of eyes are given 5 milligrams three or four times a day. Adults with dryness of mouth and throat are given 5milligrams three or four times a day. Use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional.

A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose. Store the drug in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children. Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.

4 Precautions to Take

Treatment with Salagen requires you to observe certain precautions. Difficulty in reading or other vision problems, especially at night have been associated with the use of Salagen. This drug may also cause dizziness or lightheadedness. Be careful in taking this drug before you drive, use heavy machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous.

Check with your healthcare professional if these reactions are especially bothersome. This drug may cause you to sweat more than is usual. If you do, it is important that you drink extra liquids to offset this sweating so you do not lose too much fluid and become dehydrated.

Check with your healthcare professional if you are not sure how much extra liquid to drink or if you cannot drink as much liquid as you should.

5 Potential Side Effects

Salagen may cause side effects. Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms. Call your doctor if you experienced the following while using Salagen:

  • Severe allergic reactions such as hives, skin rash, tightness of the chest, swelling of the mouth, lips, nose or throat
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Breathing problems
  • Changes or unusual heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Excessive sweating
  • Unusual tearing of the eyes
  • Headache
  • Shakiness 
  • Vomiting

Salagen may cause minor side effects that are not harmful to health:

  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Flushing or redness of the skin
  • Runny nose
  • Blurring of vision
  • Weakness
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