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Dose- and Time-Related Effects of Pilocarpine Mouthwash on Salivation
J Oral Med Pain 2017;42:72-80
Published online September 30, 2017
© 2017 Korean Academy of Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine

Je-Il Song, Jo-Eun Park, Hye-Kyoung Kim, Mee-Eun Kim, Ki-Suk Kim

Department of Oral Medicine, College of Dentistry, Dankook University, Cheonan, Korea
Correspondence to: Ki-Suk Kim
Department of Oral Medicine, College of Dentistry, Dankook University, 119 Dandae-ro, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan 31116, Korea
Tel: +82-41-550-1914 Fax: +82-505-434-7951 E-mail:
Received August 23, 2017; Revised September 15, 2017; Accepted September 18, 2017.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Purpose: Pilocarpine as a salivation stimulant in pill form has mostly been used to relieve oral dryness for xerostomic patients but its use may often be limited due to variable side effects from systemic absorption. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of pilocarpine mouthwash on salivation according to the variable concentration and duration for healthy volunteers. Related adverse effects and subjective assessment on its effects on salivation were also examined.
Methods: This study was performed as placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial. Thirty healthy volunteers (male=23, mean age=22.2 years) were randomly allocated to 6 groups with the different concentration of pilocarpine mouthwash (placebo, 0.1%, 0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5%, and 2.0%). The whole experiment consisted of 3 sessions according to the duration of mouthwash, i.e., 1, 3, and 5 minutes with the mean wash-out period ≥2 days between the sessions. Unstimulated whole saliva was collected before and after gargling with a mouthwash.
Results: Salivation of the higher concentration groups ≥1% significantly increased than those of lower concentration group. The application period of mouthwash did not cause any changes of salivary flow rate at the higher concentrations ≥1.0%. The lower concentrations of 0.5% and 0.1% had no effects on salivation even after 5-minute mouthwash. There was no significant difference between blood pressure and pulse rate before and after use of mouthwash.
Conclusions: From the results of the current study, pilocarpine mouthwash with at least 1.0% concentration more than a minute might be clinically effective in salivation without any serious side effects. Dose of mouthwash rather than duration seems to be a critical factor to salivation.
Keywords : Dose; Mouthwash; Pilocarpine; Salivation; Time; Topical

September 2017, 42 (3)