Weird Taste in Your Mouth? These Drugs Could Be the Cause

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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First, a little reminder about taste. Our sensory system for taste is remarkably sensitive, made possible by our taste buds. Taste buds are each made up of taste receptor cells which bind to small molecules related to flavor. Through sensory nerves, the receptors relay the taste information to the brain and this allows us to discern five basic tastes (sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami/savory).

An unpleasant taste or lack of taste can affect appetite, and even lead to depression. If your taste buds don’t seem right, rule out sinus or nasal issues, viral upper respiratory infections, or other common causes, then take a look at your meds.

With certain medications, these changes in taste may occur:

Bitter taste:

Metallic taste:

Loss of sour taste:

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Persistent sweet, sour, salty, bitter or metallic taste (aka dysgeusia):

Less or lack of taste:

Remember if your medications are altering your taste, discontinuing them should fix that. So ask your doctor about alternatives.

Dr O.

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