Drugs causing Taste Disorders – Hypogeusia, Ageusia, Dysgeusia

What is Taste: Taste is the perception of the Taste buds containing taste receptors in the Papilla present on the surface of the tongue, which is transmitted to the brain through nerves. The cells which perceive taste are called taste cells or gustatory cells.

Here i want to disapprove a common misconception that different types of cells are perceived in different parts of the tongue but it is not, salt, sweet, sour etc can be perceived all over the tongue.

Taste Disorders are caused by:

  1. The drug entering the saliva and altering the chemical composition of saliva (or)
  2. The drug affects the nerve taste receptor function or signal transduction of the nerves supplying the taste receptors.

The Drugs Causing Salivary Gland Swelling, Sialorrhoea can also cause Taste Disorders

Taste Disorders are divided into 3 types:

  1. Hypogeusia: It is the Reduced ability to taste sweet, sour, bitter, salty.
  2. Ageusia: It is the Complete loss of ability to taste sweet, sour, bitter, salty.
  3. Dysgeusia: It is the alteration which makes foul, salty, rancid, or metallic taste sensation persist in the mouth.

drugs causing dysgeusia, drugs causing Ageusia, drugs causing hypogeusia

Drugs Causing Dysgeusia, Ageusia and Hypogeusia::

Taste Disorders are of 3 types which are alter the taste perception in the oral cavity. Taste disorders are mostly neglected by many but it is a sign and symptom of an underlying disease and should be dealt with immediately.

To know the difference between drug induced Taste Disorders and Systemic Disease causing taste disorders we are listing out the drugs responsible for Taste disorders.

  1. Antibiotics: Ciprofloxacin, Levofloxacin, Metronidaxole, Ethionamide, Ofloxacin
  2. Antivirals: Acyclovir, Zidovudine
  3. NSAIDS: Etodolac, Ketoprofen
  4. Disulfiram: Drugs used for Alcohol detoxification
  5. General Anesthetics: Midazolam, Propofol
  6. Local anesthetics: Lidocaine transoral
  7. Antacids: Aluminium Hydroxide, Calcium carbonate
  8. Anticholinergics: Mepenzolate
  9. Anticonvulsants: Phenytoin
  10. Antidepressants: Amitryptyline, Fluoxetine
  11. Antidiabetics: Metformin
  12. Cardiovascular Drugs: Amlodipine, Captopril, Clonidine
  13. Vitamins: Calcitriol, Dihydrotachysterol

I have seen many patients who have come for a checkup complaining of bad taste and smell even after having good oral hygiene, after getting to know the proper Medical history of the patients I could co relate that it is due to Medicines that the patients are experiencing these symptoms and could counsel them for the same. So this post is to help fellow dentists to diagnose and help in your clinical practice if you ever face such cases.

Note: Please make sure to comment If you have come across any other medications which I might have missed to cause bad taste in oral cavity. So that I can Add it to the list to complete it.

  1. December 14, 2014
  2. February 15, 2018

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