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  • Generic Name: (pilocarpine hydrochloride)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 06/2014
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Salagen is a medicine used to treat symptoms of dry mouth caused by radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. It is also used to treat symptoms of dry mouth in people with Sjogren's syndrome.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Salagen works by increasing the amount of saliva in the mouth, thereby improving your condition.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: By increasing the amount of saliva in the mouth, Salagen may help improve your symptoms.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Salagen exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may feel an improvement in your symptoms once you start taking Salagen. This is a good indicator that you medication is working.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      More common side effects may include: sweating, chills, flushing (warm, hot, burning feeling to your face), urinating more often than usual, dizziness, lack of strength.

      Less common side effects may include:

      Salagen may cause visual disturbances.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not take Salagen if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

      Do not take Salagen if you have uncontrolled asthma or certain eye problems (such as increased pressure in the eye).

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Salagen. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart or liver problems, asthma or other breathing problems, gallstones or kidney stones, mental or psychiatric disturbances, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Head and Neck Cancer Patients

      Adults: The recommended starting dose is 5 milligrams (mg) three times a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

      Sjogren's Syndrome Patients

      Adults: The recommended dose is 5 mg four times a day.

      If you have liver impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Take Salagen exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Salagen without first talking to your healthcare provider.

      If you sweat excessively while taking Salagen and cannot drink enough liquid, notify your healthcare provider.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other activities in reduced lighting until you know how Salagen affects you.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      If Salagen is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Salagen with the following: atropine, blood pressure/heart medicines known as beta-blockers (such as metoprolol or atenolol), or ipratropium.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of Salagen during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Salagen. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Salagen, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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