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Low-dose naltrexone for treatment of burning mouth syndrome

Low-dose naltrexone for treatment of burning mouth syndrome
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Type
Reported as
Case Report/Series/Restrospective Study
April 30, 2022
L Sangalli, CS Miller
University of Kentucky

OBJECTIVE: The International Classification of Disease defines burning mouth syndrome (BMS) as a chronic intraoral burning sensation, with no identifiable local or systemic cause. Since current management is often unsatisfactory, the aim of this report is to describe a new treatment modality (i.e., low-dose naltrexone [LDN]).

STUDY DESIGN: A 62-year-old woman presented with the complaint of burning on the tongue of 3 years' duration. Existing comorbidities were fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, headache, and interstitial cystitis. Her reported pain intensity ranged from 2/10 (morning) to 8/10 (evening) on a numeric rating scale. With the diagnosis of BMS and hyposalivation, and in light of her current clonazepam use and fibromyalgia, a dry mouth protocol and LDN (3 mg) were prescribed.

RESULTS: After 1 month, her pain intensity decreased by 50%, with no pain upon awakening. After 2 months, the widespread pain associated with her chronic morbidities also reduced by 50%, and her headache disappeared. After adjusting LDN dose to 4.5 mg, the patient was stable at 6 months, with 50% reduction of widespread pain and 2/10 BMS pain, and no reported side effects.

CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary results suggest that LDN may be a feasible and effective treatment for BMS, especially in patients' refractory to traditional treatment.

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