Dry Mouth

I'm having an awful time with dry mouth which started when I started taking meds for copd--Spiriva, xopedem, Musinex. I've tried everything. Hot drinks, cold drinks, tools, fingers, cloths, Biotene, weeping with frustration. I tried giving up these meds (one by one) but couldn't do without them for more than a few days. I've been reading your posts now for a few weeks and find them very positive and helpful. If you have any tips for dealing with this, I would be so grateful. I'm elderly and figure something else will kill me before copd does but the dry mouth is ruining the quality of the life I have left!

27 Replies

  • Hello Sally, I have a dry mouth, it is very hard to deal with. I see the dental hygienist every six months. She recommended alcohol free mouthwash. Drink water regularly is a good thing, personally, I find live yoghurt very helpful. Avoiding food containing sugar is beneficial. Pineapple chunks work but are very sharp and I found they felt painful on my tongue.

  • Here is a link to an earlier thread about dry mouth. I do hope you can find a way to relieve the dryness.


  • Hi Sally, When do you experience "Dry Mouth".

  • I experience the dry mouth 24/7. It's causing mucus from coughing or just clearing my throat to STICK to my gums. I haven't had a clean mouth for almost six months. Am constantly trying to remove it.

  • Hi Sally You're not in the UK? The dry mouth is probably side effects from your meds. Have a discussion with your Dr.. there are plenty of alternatives to try - I don't tolerate Spiriva, gives me sinus problems & post nasal drip. Have the smae with other powder inhalers, but I seem to be OK with formoterol.. but there a lot of others, too. You could try the respimat version of Spiriva?

    Xopedex is new on me.. in the sides listed, dry mouth is a symptom of overdosing? Check you're not taking too much? Have you tried salbutamol instead (maybe albuterol where you are/ ventolin in the UK)?

    And check the sides listed in your other meds.

    You could also try saline nasal rinse or mouth spray?

    The music night sounds great. Singing? Or do you play an instrument?

    Good luck.

  • I'm in the US. Xolpidem contains albuteral. I don't think it's the culprit because I use it so rarely. I'm on four prescriptions that list dry mouth as a possible side-effect but they are all important. I tried quitting them each for four days, but no improvement.

    I'm a singer and also play old-time and bluegrass on the Autoharp. (Old time music here comes from the mountains in the southeast U.S. Much of it originated in England and Scotland.)

  • My other half has a spray for dry mouth which he gets on prescription. He is not on chest medication but on bladder/prostate medication which means he cannot have a drink or food after the last tablet at night for 10 hours but if he needs to moisten his mouth he can use this spray. it is called Aquoral by IS pharma. Do you gargle with water after taking your inhalers? I find that helps too.

  • Thanks, Freefaller. I haven't garbled because when I try I feel like I'm drowning. I do rinse very thoroughly.

    I meant gargled, not garbled. I do plenty of that, particularly on-line.

  • ha ha! I knew what you meant don't worry! I have been told that you really need to gargle but if you can't then you can't looks like CELAT06 has got a good suggestion for you.



  • Hi, Sally, I also suffer with dry mouth, I use a dry mouth wash from Boots, called Expert Dental. You rinse your mouth out with it for around 40 to 60 seconds and then spit it out. I combine this with Boots Expert dry mouth spray, which I use several times a day, and in the night, whenever the need arises. I hope this helps.

    Take care,

    Christine. XXXX

  • Thank you, Celato6. I'll try it if I can find it.

  • Cold tablets, allergy meds and singular all give me dry everything. Had to use prescription eye drops. Got better after eliminating these items. Use nasacort for my allergies.

  • Pattylusk

    I don't take any of those. When I left the east coast a cool 55 years ago I left my allergies behind. That's why I didn't go back.

  • Hi again Sally. I take Spiriva daily evening and Symbicort 400/12 in the morning and evening. I had extremely dry mouth tongue and throat. Things I did to minimise the condition are as follows. Increased fluids, nose breathing and sugar free chewing gum. Still get dry mouth however not as frequent, but realise its because I have not stuck to the above 3 procedures.

  • I'm not familiar with Symbicort. What is it for? I do chew sugar-free gum. Nose breathing is difficult as one nostril is partially blocked by this guck and I can't get it out. Is there a particular reason why you take the Spiriva in the evening?

    Many thanks for all this info.

  • Its a preventer like Spiriva. I would wake up quite breathless. Then take both Symbicort and Spiriva. mentioned it to the GP and she said to try Spiriva at night. Now I have great morning. never breathless when I awake. And my days are much better too.

  • We're practically having a conversation. What time is it where you are? It's midnight here so I'll sign off. The miracles of the Internet. It's wonderful.

    G'nite. Sally

  • When you sent the message it was 5.00pm here in Tasmania.

  • That is good to know. I should take Serevent and Flixotide night and morning but quite often forget in the morning. I used to be on one single preventer inhaler but back in 2005 when I had 5 weeks off work with asthma they chagned it as thought it would be better for me to get the medication seperately. At the time told two puffs of each night and morning but then told only one of the flixotide. Now they are talking about putting me back on a single inhaler. Even if I do wake a little breathless I find that once I get vertical and walk around I feel bette. So, by the time I have got up, been to the loo and had a wash/shower the breathlessness has passed. So forget about inhalers! So at least I wasn't overdoing it on the flixotide most of the time! Lol. Always take the night time ones as would definitely wake gasping for breath if I forgot.



  • That small change from morning to evening with Symbicort has made the world of difference.

  • I always have cough sweets where ever I am, works for me. Chris x

  • I used to have exactly the same. Found out it was the spiriva causing it. Maybe you should ask your doctors advice, you may be able to switch to something else. Hope this helps. Ray

  • I to have a very dry mouth it's down to I mentioned it my consultant he said it was down to the spiriva 😕

  • Hi I was the same very dry mouth I started with chewing gum went to pr got talking and was put onto salivix for dry mouth cost £6. 90 over the counter tried 2 months sister told me she knew of someone who got them on perscription talked to doctor and I now have them on monthly repeat perscription I know how you feel Marian xx

  • Warmest thanks to the folks who replied to my pitiful post about my dry mouth. The consensus seems to be that it's the Spiriva that is causing it. So today I started Advair instead. The doctor said it might also cause dry mouth but she had some free samples so I might as well try it out. If it doesn't help we'll try something else. Even the first dose freed up my breathing quite a bit.

    I truly appreciate all the help. Sally

  • Hi Sally, wath i do for dry mouth, you might think is wird, but I eat ice, it helps a bit

  • That's not weird at all. I try to eat ice chips but they melt so fast! I haven't tried the big ice cubes.

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