Glycopyrrolate (Robinul, and others), a synthetic muscarinic receptor antagonist, has been used off-label for many years for treatment of excessive drooling in patients with Parkinson’s disease, in patients taking clozapine for schizophrenia, and in developmentally disabled children.1-3 It has now been approved by the FDA as Cuvposa (Shionogi) for use specifically in children 3-16 years old with severe chronic drooling due to a neurologic condition, such as cerebral palsy. It is being marketed as an oral solution, which will permit more precise weight-based dosing than was possible with the oral tablets used in the past. As with other anticholinergic drugs, dry mouth, constipation, flushing and nasal congestion can occur. Since glycopyrrolate decreases secretion not only of saliva, but also of sweat, overheating due to high ambient temperatures or excessive exercise could be dangerous for patients who take it.
1. ME Arbouw et al. Glycopyrrolate for sialorrhea in Parkinson disease: a randomized, double-blind, crossover trial. Neurology 2010; 74:1203.
2. CS Liang et al. Comparison of the efficacy and impact on cognition of glycopyrrolate and biperiden for clozapine-induced sialorrhea in schizophrenic patients: a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. Schizophren Res 2010; 119:138.
3. RJ Mier et al. Treatment of sialorrhea with glycopyrrolate: a double-blind, dose-ranging study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2000; 154:1214.