Dealing with a sore tongue and hair loss: advice from the hive mind?
August 30, 2009 6:00 AM   Subscribe

I'm coping with two different side effects from two different medications--hair loss and sore tongue/dry mouth. Any advice from the hive mind? Teal deer explanation and questions inside.

I'm taking two medications for ADHD/Anxiety management: Strattera and Vyvanse. Both are causing side effects that, while tolerable, are annoying enough that I'd like to help counteract them if possible. Both side effects are fairly common for the types of meds they are, so I'm hoping others have had the same issues and have advice on helping alleviate them.

Hair loss: This is Strattera's fault. I know it's a common side effect of many SSRI/SSNRI/NRI type medications and I had it when I tried Wellbutrin several years ago. Right now, stopping the Strattera isn't an option. It's the best thing I've taken to help with my anxiety and has the added benefit of helping me focus, too. Frankly, as far as positive benefits from psychoactive medications, this is one of the best meds I've ever been on. The hair loss, though, is annoying as I have very fine, thin hair naturally. I've seen stories of people losing over half their hair, and I'd like to get a handle on it before it gets to that point.

Sore tongue/dry mouth: Vyvanse has gifted me with energy and motivation without depression--but a really, really dry mouth. The dry mouth (I think) has led to glossitis. Soreness that initially came and went is now pretty constant and occasionally affects my speech.

So, for either or both of these symptoms, my questions are:
  • Has anyone else dealt with these side effects from these types of medications?
  • Did they slow or stop over the course of taking the medication?
  • Did you find a solution or something that would help counteract the side effects (other than simply stopping the medication)?

posted by elfgirl to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Check your mefi-mail.
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 7:55 AM on August 30, 2009

The dry mouth should be something your doctor can prescribe something for. There are special mouthwashes that are out there to help with this. I know these types of things exist for people on chemotherapy who get dry mouth and mouth sores, so I don't see why it wouldn't be available to others with those problems.
posted by ishotjr at 9:52 AM on August 30, 2009

I take vyvanse and I get dry mouth. I've been on it for about a year and a half and it comes and goes in its severity. I drink a LOT of water and use Biotene mouthwash, which tastes kind of weird but I think helps.
posted by cosmic osmo at 10:37 AM on August 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Biotene recommendation. It's not expensive, it's fairly easy to find, and it really helps.

Also, Nioxin products might help you with the hair loss. I had some hair loss a while back when I had months-long low-grade fevers (go go chronic virus infections) and Nioxin saved the day for me. I still use them just because they make my scalp feel awesome.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:25 AM on August 30, 2009

Biotene make a bunch of products for people with dry mouth. Toothpaste, gum, mouthwash, and a gel that you put in your mouth at night to keep from getting dried out when sleeping (saliva output naturally decreases to almost nothing when we're asleep). Sucking lemon candies will stimulate saliva production. Drinking water helps but if you overdo it, it can wash away the saliva you do have. Caffeine and alcohol will aggravate dry mouth, so you might want to avoid those.
posted by HotToddy at 1:55 PM on August 30, 2009

Do NOT suck lemon candies as a solution for dry mouth!
The biotene recommendations are fine, but please do see your dentist. xerostomia (dry mouth) is a huge factor in tooth decay (saliva is important to buffer the acidity created by the digestion of sugar by bacteria in your mouth), so controlling it in a proper manner is important to prevent cavities.
Your dentist can also prescribe artificial saliva, which can help when the dry mouth is severe.
posted by OHenryPacey at 7:29 PM on August 30, 2009

Yeah, I should have said *sugar-free* lemon candies. Research it for yourself, but lemon candies are an absolutely standard recommendation for those suffering from dry mouth.
posted by HotToddy at 3:37 PM on August 31, 2009

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