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Pilocarpine is a custom pharmacy drug classified in the family of drugs known as cholinergic agonists. Pilocarpine, once in the body, emulates the actions of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is centrally responsible for the body's ability to manufacture saliva and tears for lubrication. Pilocarpine is often given for treatment of dry mouth due to radiotherapy in patients with certain types of cancer, as well as for Sjogren's syndrome. Pilocarpine may be prescribed for other medical conditions as well. Ask your physician for more information on this drug.


Pilocarpine is most often given orally three times a day as prescribed by your physician for treatment of dry mouth due to radiotherapy. It is typically taken four times a day, or as directed by your physician, for the treatment of Sjogren's syndrome. Follow your physician's directions for dosage and usage exactly. Consult with your compounding pharmacist if you have additional questions during your course of treatment with this drug.


As with any drug, pilocarpine may cause some troubling or nagging side effects. If you experience a side effect that is getting worse or persisting, see your physician. Common side effects seen with the use of pilocarpine are as follows:

  • Stomach Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Runny Nose
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Flushing
  • Swelling (feet, ankles, lower legs)
  • Swelling (arms, hands)
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Frequent Urination
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nervousness
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Low Blood Pressure

Severe Side Effects:

Some users may unfortunately experience severe side effects that require immediate medical treatment. If you experience anything severe, get medical help at once. Some possible severe side effects are listed below.

  • Vision Changes
  • Slow Heartbeat
  • Accelerated Heartbeat


All patients considering the use of pilocarpine should first consult with their primary care physician before beginning use. Only a qualified physician who is aware of your full medical history and drug usage can decide if pilocarpine is safe for your use.

Pilocarpine may be contraindicated for any of the conditions, etc. listed below. Talk to your doctor.

  • Hypersensitivity to Pilocarpine or its Ingredients
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Acute Asthma
  • Nephrolithiasis
  • Acute Iritis
  • Hepatic Impairment
  • COPD
  • Psychiatric Disorder
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Glaucoma (angle-closure)

NOTE: There may be many other contraindications for the use of pilocarpine. Ask your physician to discuss all possible contraindications that could be relevant to you and/or your condition, health status, age, or otherwise.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA