Teeth grinding may also result as a medication’s side effect among those being treated for depression, developmental disorders, schizophrenia and those taking recreational drugs. Certain medications and drugs act on the brain by stimulating it. The results suggest brain stimulation is believed to contribute to grinding. Scientific data shows several neurotransmitters are involved in the effect of various drugs on bruxism. The dopaminergic systems in the striated body and the frontal lobe of the brain are of special importance, since hyperactivity generates bruxism, particularly the mandibular movement with tooth grinding.4

Common Medications with Side Effects of Bruxism

The following drug classifications may have bruxism as a side effect:

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) – Prescribed for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and depressive episodes of bipolar disorder, social phobia, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and menopause.2,35

In some reported cases where bruxism is thought to be initiated by SSRIs, decreasing the dosage may resolve the issue. Other sources state reports of SSRIs causing bruxism are rare and it only happens with long-term use.

Generic Names of Common SSRIs Brand Names of Common SSRIs
Bupropion Wellbutrin, Zyban, Aplenzin
Citalopram Celexa
Escitalopram Lexapro
Flouxetine Prozac, Prozac Weekly Sarafem, Selfmra, Symbyax
Fluvoxamine Luvox, Luvox CR
Paroxetine Brisdelle, Paxil, Paxil CR
Sertraline Zoloft
Venlafaxine Effexor, Effexor XR

Monoamine Oxidase Type B Inhibitors (MAO-B) – Prescribed for Parkinson’s disease and major depressive disorder.2,35

Generic Names of Common MAO-Bs Brand Names of Common MAO-Bs
Rasagilne Azilect
Selegiline Apo-Selegiline, Atapryl, Carbex, Eldepryl, Emsam, Gen-Selegiline, Movergan, Novo-Selegiline, Selpak, Zelepar

Dextroamphetamine Sulf-Saccharate – Prescribed for concentration, focus and fidgeting.35

Table 3 lists Dextroamphetamine Sulf-Saccharates.
Generic Names Brand Names
Dextroamphetamine Sulf-Saccharate, Amphetamine Sulf-Asparate Adderall
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