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Treatment Outcomes of Venlafaxine and Duloxetine in Refractory Burning Mouth Syndrome Patients
J Oral Med Pain 2019;44:83-91
Published online September 30, 2019;
© 2019 Korean Academy of Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine

Moon-Jong Kim1, Hong-Seop Kho1,2

1Department of Oral Medicine and Oral Diagnosis, School of Dentistry and Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
2Institute on Aging Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Hong-Seop Kho
Department of Oral Medicine and Oral Diagnosis, School of Dentistry and Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University, 101 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03080, Korea
Tel: +82-2-2072-3989 Fax: +82-2-744-9135 E-mail:

This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2016R1A2B4007286).
Received July 31, 2019; Revised August 30, 2019; Accepted August 30, 2019.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Purpose: Venlafaxine and duloxetine have been shown to be effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain disorders. However, knowledge about the efficacy of venlafaxine and duloxetine on burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is still insufficient. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of venlafaxine and duloxetine on refractory BMS patients.
Methods: Twelve refractory BMS patients who were prescribed venlafaxine or duloxetine were included in this study. These patients did not respond to previous administration of clonazepam, alpha-lipoic acid, gabapentin, and nortriptyline. All participants were the primary type of BMS patients who had no local and systemic factors related to the oral burning sensation. The intensities of oral symptoms following venlafaxine or duloxetine administration were compared with those before administration and at baseline.
Results: Venlafaxine and duloxetine were prescribed to four and nine patients, respectively. One patient was prescribed both medications in turn. Among them, only two patients showed improvement of oral symptoms without side effects. In the other ten patients, symptoms failed to improve. Six of them reported that the drug was ineffective, and four of them stopped taking the medications on their own due to intolerable side effects, such as insomnia, constipation, drowsiness, dizziness, and xerostomia.
Conclusions: Venlafaxine and duloxetine may only relieve oral symptoms in a minority of refractory BMS patients. Further large-scale studies are needed to determine the potential clinical factors that could predict the efficacy of venlafaxine and duloxetine.
Keywords : Burning mouth syndrome; Duloxetine; Venlafaxine

September 2019, 44 (3)