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Patients who have the chronic pain condition known as “burning mouth syndrome” (BMS) endure an unremitting burning sensation in the mouth, usually without any visible abnormalities or unusual laboratory findings. Approximately some 2.5% to 5.1% of people in the general population and 14% of postmenopausal women have BMS.

A recent study of 195 participants examined the therapeutic efficacy of benzodiazepine clonazepam (frequently prescribed for insomnia and seizures) in the treatment of BMS.  Both short term (10 weeks or less) and long term (longer than 10 weeks) duration were studied, as well as two forms of administration: systemic, which means the patients swallowed the tablet, and topical, which means the participants sucked on the tablet near the pain sites, retaining saliva without swallowing for three minutes before expectorating.

The results of this study of 195 participants show that clonazepam is effective for symptom remission in patients with BMS both in short-term and long-term application and with topical and systemic administration.  The investigators commented that clonazepam are known GABAA receptor agonists that bind to both peripheral and central receptor sites, resulting in pain inhibition.

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