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Living as an Adult With Chronic Sialorrhea

Merz is committed to helping adult patients manage their chronic sialorrhea

When you’re an adult with chronic sialorrhea, also known as excessive drooling, it can be devastating. Physical and emotional complications can range from mild and annoying symptoms to severe problems that have a significant negative impact on quality of life.1

Doctors will often recommend a handkerchief, towel, or bib to be placed around your neck to help with the wetness drool causes. When you treat your condition this way, you must always have the wiping apparatus with you. And because you feel you must have your wiping tool, you may likely feel isolated. It’s important to know you’re not alone: 600,000 adult patients are estimated to suffer from chronic sialorrhea in the United States.2-7

Talk to your doctor; together you can decide on the treatment that’s right for you.

Adults with chronic sialorrhea may experience some or all of the symptoms below1:

These symptoms may have an impact on activities of daily living, including5:

Signs, symptoms and the affects of sialorrhea

Sialorrhea (drooling or excessive salivation) is a common problem in the neurologically impaired (ie, those with mental retardation or cerebral palsy) and in those who have Parkinson’s disease or have had a stroke. It is most commonly caused by poor oral and facial muscle control.2


  1. Hockstein NG, Samadi DS, Gendron K, Handler SD. Sialorrhea: a management challenge. Am Fam Physician. 2004;69(11):2628-2634. Accessed June 17, 2019.
  2. Kowal SL, Dall TM, Chakrabarti R, Storm MV, Jain A. The current and projected economic burden of Parkinson’s disease in the United States. Mov Disord. 2013;28(3):311-318.
  3. Kalf JG, de Swart BJ, Borm GF, Bloem BR, Munneke M. Prevalence and definition of drooling in Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review. J Neurol. 2009;256(9):1391-1396.
  4. Prevalence and most common causes of disability among adults – United States, 2005. Centers for Disease Control website. Accessed June 17, 2019.
  5. Walshe M, Smith M, Pennington L. Interventions for drooling in children with cerebral palsy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;11:CD008624.
  6. Tiigimäe-Saar J, Taba P, Tamme T. Does Botulinum neurotoxin type A treatment for sialorrhea change oral health? Clin Oral Investig. 2017;21(3):795-800.
  7. What is ALS? ALS Association website. Accessed June 17, 2019.