10 Common Medications That Cause Bad Breath

Prescription Drugs

10 Common Medications That Cause Bad Breath

Allergies.Clinical Depression
RxSaver Editors
By RxSaver Editors
Jan 16, 2018 - Updated Feb 16, 2021
Illustration of a woman with bad breath coming out of her mouth

Numerous medications list dry mouth as a possible side effect, and unfortunately, dry mouth is a leading cause of bad breath. As its name implies, dry mouth refers to a lack of saliva. Without enough saliva to wash away odor-causing bacteria, you can wind up with bad breath.

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Why do medications cause bad breath?

Side effects from medications are common and frequently mild. However, some side effects, such as causing bad breath, can negatively affect your self-esteem, and your social life.

Medications can also cause bad breath as the result of chemicals being released into your bloodstream when the medications are broken down in your body. Some of these chemicals communicate with your nervous system and decrease the amount of saliva produced, which in turn may cause dry mouth and bad breath.

Here’s a list of 10 common medications that cause bad breath, along with tips for treating it.

Which medications cause bad breath?

Medications prescribed for a variety of health conditions may cause bad breath. From antihistamines to anti-anxiety, and even acne medications, medications that cause bad breath are more common than you think.

1. Phentermine (Adipex-P)

Phentermine acts as an appetite suppressant, by affecting the central nervous system. It is used together with exercise and diet to treat obesity. Phentermine lists dry mouth as a side effect.

The RxSaver price for phentermine at major retail pharmacies starts at $9.72

2. Diazepam (Valium)

Diazepam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety. It is used to treat anxiety disorders, muscle spasms, or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Unpleasant breath odor is listed as a side effect of diazepam.

The RxSaver price for diazepam at major retail pharmacies starts at $4.69

3. Alprazolam (Xanax)

Alprazolam is used to treat panic disorders, anxiety disorders, and anxiety caused by depression. Unpleasant breath odor is listed as a side effect of alprazolam.

The RxSaver price for alprazolam at major retail pharmacies starts at $2.82

4. Isotretinoin (Accutane)

Isotretinoin helps reduce the amount of oil released by oil glands found in your skin. It helps your skin renew itself more quickly. Isotretinoin is used to treat severe cystic acne that is not responding to other treatments. Dry mouth is listed as a side effect of isotretinoin.

The RxSaver price for isotretinoin at major retail pharmacies starts at $113.59

5. Lorazepam (Ativan)

Lorazepam is used to treat anxiety disorders. Unpleasant breath odor is listed as a side effect of Lorazepam.

The RxSaver price for lorazepam at major retail pharmacies starts at $3.66

6. Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)

This muscle relaxant works by blocking nerve impulses sent to your brain. Dry mouth is listed as one of the more common side effects of cyclobenzaprine.

The RxSaver price for cyclobenzaprine at major retail pharmacies starts at $4.05

7. Albuterol (Ventolin)

Albuterol is a bronchodilator that relaxes muscles in the airways and increases airflow to the lungs. It is used to prevent bronchospasms in individuals with conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste has been reported as a side effect of albuterol.

The RxSaver price for Albuterol at major retail pharmacies starts at $11.53

8. Loratadine (Claritin)

Loratadine is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of the naturally occurring chemical, histamine. It is used to treat sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, hives, skin rash, hay fever, or other allergy symptoms. Dry mouth is listed as a common side effect of loratadine.

9. Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Bupropion or Wellbutrin is an antidepressant that is prescribed for major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. Dry mouth is a common side effect of bupropion.

The RxSaver price for bupropion at major retail pharmacies starts at $6.50

10. Fluoxetine (Prozac)

Fluoxetine, the generic for Prozac is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant. This means that it affects the chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people who have anxiety, depression, panic, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Dry mouth is a common side effect of Fluoxetine.

The RxSaver price for fluoxetine at major retail pharmacies starts at $4.00

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How to Avoid Bad Breath from Medications

In general, bad breath can be avoided by practicing good oral hygiene, and seeing your dentist regularly. Good oral hygiene includes:

  • Brushing your teeth after you eat
  • Flossing at least once a day
  • Cleaning any dental appliances or dentures daily
  • Avoiding garlic and onion rich foods
  • Changing your toothbrush every few months

Finally, because bad breath from medication is often caused by dry mouth, be sure to drink plenty of water, and avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages that can further dry out your mouth. You may also chew gum, or suck on candy to stimulate the production of saliva.

Phentermine: 37.5 mg / 30 tablets Diazepam: 5 mg / 30 tablets Alprazolam: 0.5 mg / 30 tablets Isotretinoin: 10 mg / 30 capsules Lorazepam: 1 mg / 30 tablets Cyclobenzaprine: 10 mg / 30 tablets Albuterol: 2.5 mg/3ml / 30 vials Bupropion: 75 mg / 30 tablets Fluoxetine: 20 mg / 30 capsules

*Lowest online price at national pharmacy chains Costco, CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens and Walmart as of 1/16/2021. Prices vary by location and pharmacy, see RxSaver.com for actual pricing in your area.

RxSaver Editors

RxSaver Editors

RxSaver Editors are wellness enthusiasts who help you learn how you can save the most on prescription medication costs and other health-related topics.

The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

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