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Influences of antihypertensive and antihyperlipidemic drugs on the senses of taste and smell: a review

Doty, Richard L; Philip, Shaji; Reddy, Krishna; Kerr, Kara-Lynne


According to the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR), 36% of modern antihypertensive and antihyperlipidemic drugs produce untoward alterations in chemosensory perception. Such disturbances can adversely affect the quality of life, produce non-compliance to medication schedules, and may result in decreased food intake, loss of appetite, weight decrement, and depression. This review lists the primary antihypertensive and antihyperlipidemic drugs that adversely alter chemosensory function, provides information on better defining the nature of the dysfunction, outlines testing strategies and available tests that could be used to better define the prevalence of the dysfunction, and summarizes means for mitigating such alterations.

Smell and Taste Center, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Sponsorship: This paper was supported, in part, by Grants PO1 DC 00161, RO1 DC 04278, RO1 DC 02974, and RO1 AG27496 from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD USA.

Correspondence and requests for reprints to Richard L. Doty, Ph.D., Director, Smell and Taste Center, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, 5 Ravdin Building, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Tel: +1 215 662 6580; fax: +1 215 349 5266; e-mail:

Received 14 March 2003 Revised 20 June 2003 Accepted 24 June 2003

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.