Podcast: Is this OTC medication the next substance of abuse?

By Kevin Henry, DrBicuspid.com editor in chief

January 8, 2020 -- A drug that is readily available as an over-the-counter (OTC) medication and easily accessible could become the next substance of abuse affecting your dental patients, according to dental pharmacology expert Tom Viola, RPh.

On the latest episode of the Dental Assistant Nation podcast series, powered by IgniteDA.net. Viola joins me to talk about Benzedrex, commonly used by patients to provide temporary relief of nasal congestion by constricting blood vessels.

Commonly found in inhalers, Benzedrex can be bought at local drugstores or retailers such as Walmart or Target. It's easily accessible, which, according to Viola, is leading to problems in some parts of the U.S. when used for different means than intended.

The active ingredient in Benzedrex is propylhexedrine, which can lead to a "euphoric high" for users. There has been an active Reddit discussion on the drug where one user posted that it gave him "euphoria and focus." However, along with those feelings come symptoms such as xerostomia and other issues that can lead to significant dental problems.

Check out the podcast below to hear our discussion and some serious talk about what this over-the-counter medication could mean for your patients' oral health, as well as how to potentially diagnose its abuse and talk about it with your patients.

And remember, the Dental Assistant Nation series, powered by IgniteDA, has podcasts designed to help dental assistants become more empowered, enlightened, and educated. It also has topics of interest to every member of the dental team to help grow their careers.




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