Combined Therapy For Burning Mouth Syndrome

Combined Topical and Systemic Clonazepam Therapy for the Management of Burning Mouth Syndrome: A Retrospective Pilot Study

Kate Amos, BDSc (Hons)/Sue-Ching Yeoh, BDS (Hons), MDSc, FRACDS, FRACDS (Oral Med)/Camile S. Farah, BDSc, MDSc, PhD, GCEd (HE), FRACDS (Oral Med) FIAOO, FICD

Aims: To evaluate retrospectively the efficacy of administering an anticonvulsant medication, clonazepam, by dissolving tablets slowly orally before swallowing, for the management of burning mouth syndrome (BMS).

Methods: A retrospective clinical records audit was performed of patients diagnosed with BMS between January 2006 and June 2009. Patients were prescribed 0.5 mg clonazepam three times daily, and changes were made to this regimen based on their individual response. Patients were asked to dissolve the tablet orally before swallowing and were reviewed over a 6-month period. Pain was assessed by patients on an 11-point numerical scale (0 to 10). A nonparametric (Spearman) two-tailed correlation matrix and a two-tailed Mann-Whitney test were performed.

Results: A total of 36 patients (27 women, 9 men) met the criteria for inclusion. The mean (± SEM) pain score reduction between pretreatment and final appointment was 4.7 ± 0.4 points. A large percentage (80%) of patients obtained more than a 50% reduction in pain over the treatment period. One patient reported no reduction in pain symptoms, and one third of the patients had complete pain resolution. Approximately one third of patients experienced side effects that were transient and mild.

Conclusion: This pilot study provides preliminary evidence that the novel protocol of combined topical and systemic clonazepam administration provides an effective BMS management tool. J OROFAC PAIN 2011;25:125–130

Dr. Stan Farrell is well versed in the treatment of burning mouth. At AZTMJ, we have numerous successful treatment options available. If you have been suffering from burning mouth, dry mouth or other facial neuralgias you owe it to yourself to schedule a consultation with Dr. Farrell, 480-945-3629.