Chrome 2001
.
Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
 
.
. .
.
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
InteliHealth
Ask the Doc
4464
Ask the Doc
Ask The Expert
Harvard Medical School
Image of a cadeusus
. .
General Medical Questions
.
Question : What would cause a swollen tongue? Can this be a side effect of medicine?
.
.
.
The Trusted Source
.
.
Howard LeWine, M.D.

Howard LeWine, M.D., is chief editor of Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publications. He is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. LeWine has been a primary care internist and teacher of internal medicine since 1978.

.
.
October 18, 2013
.

There are many reasons for a swollen tongue. Indeed, a reaction to a medication is one of the more common causes.

For example, a well know side effect of ACE inhibitors (short for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors) is a condition called angioneurotic edema.

Swelling of the face, lips and tongue can come on quickly in people taking an ACE inhibitor. The reaction may happen when the drug is first started or at any time thereafter. Sometimes people get this reaction even though they have been taking the drug for several years. For reasons we don't understand, ACE inhibitors are more likely to cause angioneurotic edema in African-Americans.

Many other medications can also cause angioneurotic edema or other types of allergic reactions that make the tongue swell.

Inflammation of the tongue, called glossitis, can lead to a swollen tongue. The inflammation might be related to an infection, such as thrush. Or a vitamin deficiency, especially B12 deficiency.

A tongue that gets larger over many months can sometimes be related to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).

Rare conditions can also cause a markedly enlarged tongue. One example is  amyloidosis. In this condition, amyloid protein deposits build up in the organs. Another example is  acromegaly, a condition that happens  when the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone. However, if you had one of these conditions, you would expect additional symptoms.  Not just a swollen tongue.

.
.
InteliHealth
.
Ask A Question
.
.
InteliHealth
Do You Have A Question?
.
. . .
.
Ask The Expert Archives
Topics
.
InteliHealth
.
InteliHealth

    Print Printer-friendly format    
   
dmtatd
dmtATD
dmtatd
126747
InteliHealth
1998-05-15
f
InteliHealth
NULL
411, 4464, 4581, 4582, 7991, 7992, 7995, 7996, 7997, 8122, 8438, 8463, 8464, 8465, 8466, 8467, 8468, 8469, 8470, 8471, 8472, 8473, 8474, 8475, 8476, 8477, 8479, 8480, 8481, 8482, 8483, 8484, 8486, 8487, 8488, 8489, 8490, 8760, 14219, 20807, 21346, 21349, 21351, 23926, 23938, 24017, 24025, 24075, 24151, 24510, 24519, 24549, 24869, 24878, 25107, 25518, 25646, 25968, 29367, 29516, 29595, 48666, 48812, 59367,
4581
.
.  
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
.