What is Xylitol

Xylitol is an oral bacteriostatic medical food used to normalize upper airway and oral flora. It is a sugar alcohol often referred to as birch sugar because it can be produced from birch trees.

Xylitol is also found in fruits and vegetables including strawberries, plums, raspberries, and cauliflower. It is most widely used as a low-calorie sweetener in chewing gums and candy with the same relative sweetness as sucrose. I

In vitro studies have shown that xylitol inhibits the growth of Streptococcus pneumoniae and decreases the adherence of S. pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae to nasopharyngeal epithelial cells.

Brand Name


Indications & Dosage

  • dental caries prophylaxis
  • otitis media

For the prevention of recurrent acute otitis media (AOM)

Side Effects

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • flatulence

Xylitol is generally well tolerated. The most common adverse effect of xylitol, as with other polyol sweeteners, is osmotic diarrhea; this adverse effect is dose-dependent.

Because diarrhea may lead to dehydration, especially in infants and children, some experts recommend titrating xylitol to the target dose as tolerated by the patient.

Other gastrointestinal side effects that have been associated with xylitol consumption include abdominal pain or discomfort, flatulence, and loose stools.

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • breast-feeding
  • diarrhea
  • infants
  • malabsorption syndrome
  • neonates
  • pregnancy

Xylitol should not be used in patients with xylitol hypersensitivity.


There are no drug interactions associated with Xylitol products.


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