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What Is Cevimeline?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Cevimeline is a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe dry mouth in patients who have a medical condition known as Sjogren's syndrome. This drug stimulates increased saliva production, making it easier for the patient to swallow and speak. Possible side effects of cevimeline include frequent urination, dizziness, or excessive sweating. More serious side effects that should be reported to a doctor right away include chest pain, difficulty breathing, or the sudden development of a severe headache. Any specific questions or concerns about the use of cevimeline in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Sjogren's syndrome causes the mucus membranes of the body, including the eyes, nose, and mouth, to become extremely dry. Cevimeline may be prescribed to treat dry mouth caused by this condition. It may take several weeks to notice the full benefits of this drug, and other moisturizing methods, such as hard candy or frequent sips of water, should continue to be employed.

Most cevimeline side effects are mild in nature and do not pose any significant health risks to the patient. In addition to promoting saliva production, there may be an increase in urinary volume or perspiration. Additional medications may be prescribed if these symptoms become bothersome. In some cases, the cevimeline dosage can be adjusted so the patient receives the benefits of the medication without enduring uncomfortable side effects.

Dizziness, runny nose, and nausea may occur when taking cevimeline. Mild abdominal cramping is sometimes experienced, but severe pain could indicate the development of a severe complication. Visual disturbances, especially if accompanied by a headache, should be reported to a doctor immediately. Confusion or changes in mood or behavior should be treated as a medical emergency. If the patient loses partial or complete consciousness, even if only for a few seconds, a doctor should be consulted for further medical evaluation.

Occasionally, a person may develop an allergic reaction to cevimeline, even if the medication has been well tolerated in the past. Mild allergic symptoms may include sneezing, itchy eyes, or the development of a rash. A potentially life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis may cause the face and throat to swell so much that breathing becomes difficult or even impossible, and death may occur within a matter of minutes. Life-saving support measures can begin before the patient reaches the hospital, so it is important to travel by ambulance instead of being transported in a personal vehicle.

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