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Anti-Depressants May not Be the Answer to Burning Tongue

Review on May 05, 2009

For some time doctors and medical researchers have thought that the anti-depressant Trazodone was a viable treatment for painful and uncomfortable oral conditions, such as burning tongue. In recent years however, this drug has been questioned by the medical community and the patients for whom it offers little or no relief.

burning tongue antidepressants

Burning tongue is a well-known symptom of menopause which can also occur at other times in a woman's life. The causes of burning tongue are thought to be linked to physiological problems such as depression, which is the main reason why some doctors prescribe Trazodone for burning tongue sufferers.

A study conducted in 1999 by a group of researchers from University of Turku in Finland may be about to change that. This study sought to find the effectiveness of Trazodone in the treatment of burning tongue. Thirty-seven women aged between 39 and 71 were selected for this trial and all of them suffered from chronic burning tongue syndrome. Over an eight-week period, half the group was randomly selected, and was given 200 mg of Trazodone each day, while the other half were given a placebo pill to take at the same time. The amount of pain each woman suffered was recorded at intervals of 0, 2, 4 and 8 weeks.

The results of this trial make interesting reading. Sadly, however, they do not offer any help for women suffering from painful burning tongue. Neither group had any great improvements in their conditions and eight of the tests subjects failed to complete the trail suffering from side effects such as dizziness.

This trial helps to discard popular medical theories which suggest that burning tongue is solely caused by depression and other psychological problems. Medical professionals have started to make links between vitamin deficiencies and burning tongue, although this is an area which needs more research. Researchers stress that it is most important to seek personal medical help when trying to treat burning tongue, as the effective management of this condition can vary widely between different women.

Sources:
  • Epstein, Joel B.; Gorsky, Meir; Grushkamier, Miriam. "Burning Mouth Syndrome". American Family Physician. www.aafp.org.
  • "Burning Mouth Syndrome". Associated Content. www.associatedcontent.com.
  • "Burning Tongue". Atlantic Dental Group PC. www.atlantadentist.com.