Meds, Herbs, & Voice!

November 27, 2019


Your meds might be helping you, but are they hurting your VOICE? Meds &/or herbs may negatively affect your larynx & it’s important to be aware of the side effects. Here are some common ones:

(-) May cause dry mouth & dry mucous membranes in general which can result in hoarseness/irritation; dry vocal folds (VFs) require more effort to produce voice & can be more prone to injury:
*Antihistamines, Diuretic, Anticholinergics, & Antidepressants, Antihypertensives, Decongestants in general, Accutane, Adderall, Allegra, Benadryl, Claritin, Albuterol, Flonase, Lasix, Lexapro, Lisinopril, Nasonex, Gabapentin, Prozac, Zoloft, Zyrtec
*Herbs: Burdock, Elderberry, Horsetail, Jimsonweed, Nettle

(-) May cause excessive coughing (can lead to possible VF tissue damage &/or dysphonia):
*ACE inhibitors in general, Celexa, Albuterol, Lisinopril, Plavix

(-) May cause voice changes/loss of voice:
*Advair, Albuterol, Fluticasone/Flonase, Lasix, Nasonex, Zoloft

(-) May cause an overgrowth of candida possibly leading to laryngeal thrush:
*Amoxicillin, Augmentin, Cipro, Keflex, Levaquin, Penicillin, Zithromax (Zpak)

(-) May decrease platelet function during periods of high voice demands (this increases possibility of VF hemorrhage)
*Anticoagulants in general, Coumadin/Warfarin, Motrin/Ibuprofen, Naproxen

(+) May REDUCE damage of reflux:
*Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, Pepcid, Zantac (although pepcid & zantac have antihistamine component)

(+) No known (-)effects on voice:
*Folic Acid, Gardasil (HPV vaccine), Metformin, Human Insulin, Lopressor, Synthroid, Metoprolol, Nystatin, Potassium Chloride, Retin-A, Simvastatin, Singulair, Sudafed, Tramadol, Tylenol/Acetaminophen, Valtrex, Viagra
*Herbs: Aloe Vera, Arnica, Dandelion, Echinacea, Eucalyptus, Garlic, Ginger, Ginseng, Hawthorne, Kava, Kudzu, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Licorice, Marigold, Passion Flower, Raspberry, Saw Palmetto, St. John’s Wort, Turmeric, Valerian, Wild Cherry, Ginko Biloba

*SIDENOTE: This does not mean you shouldn’t take these meds/herbs; it means be AWARE of their possible effects on the voice, consider alternatives, &/or attempt to offset the effects (ex: increase hydration)*🗣

*Source: National Center for Voice and Speech (


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