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The effectiveness of acupuncture versus clonazepam in patients with burning mouth syndrome
  1. A Jurisic Kvesic1,
  2. I Zavoreo2,
  3. V Basic Kes2,
  4. V Vucicevic Boras3,
  5. D Ciliga4,
  6. D Gabric5,
  7. D V Vrdoljak6
  1. 1Private Dental Practice, Zagreb, Croatia
  2. 2Clinic for Neurology, Clinical Hospital Centre Sisters of Mercy, Zagreb, Croatia
  3. 3Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dental Medicine and Clinical Hospital Centre, Zagreb, Croatia
  4. 4Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
  5. 5Department of Oral Surgery, School of Dental Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
  6. 6Clinic for Tumours, Clinical Hospital Centre Sisters of Mercy, Zagreb, Croatia
  1. Correspondence to Dr V Vucicevic Boras, School of Dentistry, University of Zagreb, Gunduliceva 5, and Clinical Hospital Centre Zagreb, Kispaticeva 12, Zagreb 10 000, Croatia; boras{at}


Objective Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a chronic oral condition, characterised by burning symptoms, which mainly affects perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Neuropathy might be the underlying cause of the condition. There are still insufficient data regarding successful therapy. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of acupuncture and clonazepam.

Methods Forty-two patients with BMS (38 women, 4 men) aged 66.7±12.0 years were randomly divided into two groups. Acupuncture was performed on 20 participants over 4 weeks, 3 times per week, on points ST8, GB2, TE21, SI19, SI18 and LI4 bilaterally as well as GV20 in the midline, each session lasting half an hour. Twenty-two patients took clonazepam once a day (0.5 mg in the morning) for 2 weeks and, after 2 weeks, two tablets (0.5 mg in the morning and in the evening) were taken for the next 2 weeks. Prior to and 1 month after either therapy, participants completed questionnaires: visual analogue scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (LANSS) pain scale, 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA).

Results There were significant improvements in the scores of all outcome measures after treatment with both acupuncture and clonazepam, except for MoCA. There were no significant differences between the two therapeutic regimens regarding the scores of the performed tests.

Conclusions Acupuncture and clonazepam are similarly effective for patients with BMS.

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