Drug types

Mineralcorticoids | Glucocorticoids | Antihyperthyroid | Antihypothyroid |
Antidiabetic | Hypoglycemic | Hormone replacement | Oral contraceptives

Many different drugs are used to treat and manage endocrine disorders. Listed below are some of the more common drugs you will encounter in your dental hygiene practice that affect the endocrine system. This list is not inclusive of all medications regulating this system. Please consult with a drug handbook or your patient's physician if you have any questions regarding a medication taken by your patient.

Drug type & names

Mechanism of action

Adverse effects

Mineralcorticoids:

Maintain water & electrolyte balance.
  • Edema
  • hypertension

Glucocorticoids (Oral):

  • Prednisone (Deltasone)
  • Hydrocortisone (Cortisol)
  • Betamethasone (Valisone)

(Topical):

  • Hydrocortisone (Cortaid)
  • Triamcinolone acetate (Kenalog, Flutex)
  • Fluocinolone (Lidex)
  • increase concentration of neutrophils
  • decrease number of lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophil, & basophils
  • inhibit many factors involved in the inflammatory response
  • increase glucogenesis & protein catabolism
  • decrease bone density
  • decrease resistance to infection.
  • Truncal obesity
  • weight gain
  • muscle wasting
  • hyperglycemia
  • possible masking of signs of infection
  • mood swings
  • agitation
  • depression
  • increase in stomach acid
  • impairment of collagen synthesis
  • osteoporosis
  • increase in intraocular pressure
  • sodium & water retention
  • adrenal atrophy
  • oral candidasis

Antihyperthyroid agents (Hyperthyroidism):

  • methimazole (Tapazole)
  • propylthiouracil (PTU)
Interfere with synthesis of thyroid hormones (T3 & T4)
  • Transient leukopenia
  • skin reactions
  • agranulocytosis
  • arthralgias
  • hypoprothrombinemia
  • GI disturbances

Antihypothyroid agents (Hypothryoidism):

  • Levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid)
Replace thyroid hormone No significant side effects

Antidiabetic agents:

Stimulate glucose uptake by cells & glycogen formation in the liver, thereby lowering blood glucose levels.
  • Hypoglycemia
  • sweating
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • tachycardia
  • headache
  • blurred vision
  • mental confusion
  • incoherence
  • coma
  • convulsions
  • death

Hypoglycemic agents:

  • Metformin (Glucophage)
  • Glyburide (Micronase)
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol XL)
  • Tolbutamide (Orinase)
  • Stimulate release of insulin from pancreas.

  • Increase number of insulin receptors on peripheral tissues.
  • Hypoglycemia
  • blood dycrasias
  • GI disturbances
  • muscle weakness
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • anorexia
  • cutaneous reactions
  • liver damage

Hormone Replacement:

  • Estradiol (Estrace, Estraderm)
  • Estrogen (Premarin, Prempro)
Replace estrogen to relieve symptoms of menopause.
  • Nausea
  • vomiting
  • uterine bleeding
  • vaginal discharge
  • edema
  • thrombophlebitis
  • weight gain
  • headache
  • hypertension
  • endometrial cancer

Oral Contraceptives:

  • Ortho-Novum 7/7/7
  • Ortho-Tri-Cyclen
  • Tri-Levlen
  • Triphasil
  • Inhibit ovulation
  • render uterine lining unsuitable for implantation
  • alter cervical mucus to prevent sperm penetration
  • inhibit enzymes needed by sperm for fertilization
  • Nausea
  • dizziness
  • weight gain
  • headache
  • breast tenderness
  • hypertension
  • liver damage
  • thrombophlebitis
  • thromboembolis
  • increased gingival fluid
  • gingivitis
  • gingival inflammation
  • increased risk for dry socket



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