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Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology

Print version ISSN 1808-8694


ALMEIDA, Juliana Pereira  and  KOWALSKI, Luiz Paulo. Pilocarpine used to treat xerostomia in patients submitted to radioactive iodine therapy: a pilot study. Braz. j. otorhinolaryngol. (Impr.) [online]. 2010, vol.76, n.5, pp.659-662. ISSN 1808-8694.

Xerostomia complaint is very commonly associated to radioactive iodine therapy. Alternatives to treat this morbidity can offer better quality of life to patients with thyroid cancer submitted to adjuvant iodine therapy. AIM: to report on the experience with pilocarpine on the treatment of xerostomia in thyroid cancer patients submitted to adjuvant radioactive iodine therapy (RIT). MATERIALS AND METHODS: The five patients who met the inclusion criteria received 5mg of pilocarpine, 3 tid for one week. Side effects of the drug and subjective response to xerostomia complaints after treatment were evaluated. DESIGN: it is a prospective, non-randomized study. RESULTS: Sudoresis was the most frequent side effect of pilocarpine use, followed by fatigue and headache. Two patients reported relief of xerostomia using pilocarpine, but only one patient was able to tolerate the side effects. CONCLUSIONS: Pilocarpine seems to relieve xerostomia complaints in thyroid cancer patients because it is able to stimulate salivary flow, but the observed side effects made the patients refuse long-term therapy continuation.

Keywords : iodine; thyroid neoplasms; xerostomia; pilocarpine.

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