Region Jnkpings ln Odontologiska Institutionen

Oral use of atropine eye drops in children with excessive drooling

Norderyd J*, Nilsson K, Steinwall G, Graf J, Marcusson A



Drooling can be a severe disability with psycho-social and physical consequences. The most common treatment modalities are orofacial regulation therapy, drug therapy, and surgery. The aim of this study was to analyze if oral use of atropine eye drops is a safe, efficient, and practical treatment option in control of drooling.

Patients and Methods

Fifteen children 5-18 years of age with different diagnoses but with excessive drooling problems were included in the study group after written informed consent. They served as their own controls. The study period started with 3 weeks of no treatment followed by 4 weeks of sublingual administration of one atropine eye drop once a day and finally 4 weeks of one drop twice a day. Visits were scheduled at the clinic at baseline, after 7 weeks and after 11 weeks where unstimulated whole saliva was measured and the parents rated their child's drooling on a visual analogue scale (VAS). Weekly estimations of drooling were made at home by the parents. The study was approved by the Swedish Medical Products Agency and an ethics committee.


Ten children completed the study. The majority reported improvement when using atropine. Salivary secretion rates decreased. No severe adverse reactions were noted. Many parents experienced difficulties in administration of the atropine concerning both the amount and sublingual placement.


Atropine eye drops intra-orally decreases drooling but further studies are needed to evaluate the effects of long-term use. This study was supported by the Medical Research Council of Southeast Sweden.

Uppdaterad: 2013-04-03
Anna Thofelt, Avdelningen för odontologisk radiologi Jönköping, Folktandvården