Medications and the larynx

Jonathan Harounian, Eugene Postevka, Nausheen Jamal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewThe larynx is a complex organ that houses some of the most intricate structures of the human body. Owing to its delicate nature, the larynx is affected by different medications to varying degrees. Many of these effects manifest in subjective complaints in one's voice or swallow. This review article invokes the present available literature to describe the effects different medical agents have on the functionality of the laryngeal structures.Recent findingsMultiple available studies explore the effects of inhaled corticosteroids on the larynx. While laryngeal candidiasis is a well known complication of chronic steroid use, other rarer fungal infections have also demonstrated themselves as risks. Among anesthetics, the literature suggests that sevoflurane in standard and high doses does not appear to significantly reduce the risk of laryngospasm. The use of topical and intravenous lidocaine appear to have conflicting evidence regarding their use in laryngospasm prevention, whereas postoperative sore throat, hoarseness, and cough may be prevented with preinduction nebulization of ketamine and magnesium sulfate or budesonide.SummaryFurther study is warranted to explore the effects that these and other classes of agents, such as antibiotics, have on the structure and function of the larynx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-488
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • dysphagia
  • dysphonia
  • inhaled corticosteroids
  • laryngeal candidiasis
  • laryngospasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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