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Pilocarpine Dosage

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 7, 2021.

Applies to the following strengths: 5 mg; 7.5 mg; hydrochloride

Usual Adult Dose for Xerostomia

Initial dose: 5 mg orally 3 times a day
Maintenance dose: 15 to 30 mg per day, given in divided doses

-Doses should be adjusted based upon individual patient tolerance and response.
-The lowest effective dose should be used for maintenance.
-Single doses should not exceed 10 mg.
-At least 12 weeks of continued treatment may be necessary to assess whether treatment will produce a beneficial response.

Use: Treatment of symptoms of dry mouth from salivary gland hypofunction caused by radiotherapy for head and neck cancer

Usual Adult Dose for Sjogren's Syndrome

5 mg orally 4 times a day

Comment: Efficacy was typically established by the sixth week of use.

Use: Treatment of dry mouth symptoms in patients with Sjogren's syndrome

Renal Dose Adjustments

Data not available

Liver Dose Adjustments

Mild liver dysfunction (Child-Pugh Score 5 to 6): No adjustment recommended.
Moderate liver dysfunction (Child-Pugh Score 6 to 10):
-Initial dose: 5 mg orally 2 times a day
-Maintenance dose: Doses may be adjusted, based on response and tolerability.
Severe liver dysfunction (Child-Pugh Score 10 to 15): Not recommended.

Patients with known/suspected cholelithiasis or biliary tract disease: Use with caution.


-Hypersensitivity to the active component or any of the ingredients
-Patients with uncontrolled asthma
-When miosis is undesirable (e.g., in acute iritis, in narrow-angle [angle-closure] glaucoma)

Safety and efficacy have not been established in pediatric patients.

Consult WARNINGS section for additional precautions.


Data not available

Other Comments

Administration advice:
-Doses should be taken with water.

Storage requirements:
-Protect from light and moisture.

-Adverse events are dose-related, and occur more frequently with higher doses.

Patient advice:
-Inform patients that this drug may cause depth perception impairment, dizziness, visual disturbances (especially at night), and they should avoid driving or operating machinery if these side effects occur.
-Inform patients that this drug may cause confusion, disorientation, drowsiness, and/or excessive hypotension, and they should avoid driving or operating machinery if these side effects occur.
-Advise patients to speak to their healthcare provider if they become pregnant, intend to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.