Bad Breath After Administering Drugs



Bad breath or halitosis can be an unpleasant side-effect of medication. In particular antidepressants and some tranquilisers are known to be responsible for halitosis. Typically the bad odour is produced by volatile sulphur containing substances in exhaled breath. Objective means to detect these substances are scarce and typically require breath sampling, pre-concentration and long measurement times.


V&F mass spectrometers such as the AirSense model are based on Ion Molecule Reaction Mass Spectrometry (IMR-MS) and are capable of detecting minute quantities (parts per billion) of volatile sulphur containing substances and other molecules responsible for halitosis. These instruments are highly sensitive and selective with respect to the molecules in question. Concentration changes in halitosis producing volatiles are directly measured in the breath and reported immediately. This way the intensity of prevalent halitosis can be measured objectively. A dedicated gas inlet system allows for measurements in the patient’s breath without prior sampling or sample preparation.


V&F mass spectrometers are highly versatile and compact instruments with a range of applications in breath analysis. Additionally V&F analysers feature offline connectivity to commercially available headspace sampling systems for measuring larger batches of vials containing pre-collected breath samples. Their online monitoring and real time capability facilitate measurements of time profiles on a breath-by-breath basis after ingestion of medication. Patients can be monitored using this non-invasive method and medication can be altered in order to prevent halitosis as a side-effect.


  • Real time breath-by-breath measurements
  • No sample preparation
  • Non-invasive method

Reference customers (excerpt)


Applicable instruments