Background. The Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) is defined as a burning sensation in the mucous membrane of the mouth in patients with no clinically observable mucous membrane changes. Anxiety and depressive disorders associated with the BMS were often reported. The treatment of BMS is difficult, but preliminary results of rather scarce studies on the effects of the BMS treatment with antidepressants in the dosage used in the therapy of depression seem promising. The aims of this study were: to assess citalopram effectiveness in the treatment of pain and anxiety-depressive disorders in the course of BMS; to examine correlations between mental health improvement and pain relief; to compare efficacy of BMS treatment with citalopram in BMS patients without mental disorders and in those with associated anxiety-depressive disorders; and finally, to find out factors (such as sociodemographic variables or BMS pattern characteristics) that might predispose BMS patients to alleviation of mental disorders or pain.
Method. The study sample consisted of 66 BMS patients. All the patients underwent a pre-treatment psychiatric examination and were diagnosed by the ICD-10 criteria, with an emphasis on anxiety and depression symptoms (assessed using the Hamilton Depression Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Hamilton Anxiety Scale) as well as pain severity (evaluated on a 6-point rating scale). Effectiveness of citalopram administered in a daily dose of 20 major 6 weeks was assessed using the same scales on the 14th and 42nd day of the treatment.
Results. In a third of the patients an improvement was found as regards pain severity alter 6 weeks of citalopram treatment. The medication was significantly more effective in BMS patients with associated depressive or anxiety disorclers than in those without such disorders. The citalopram treatment reduced anxiety and depression levels in BMS patients with these concurrent disorders. The patients' mental health improvement was correlated with pain alleviation. No significant differences regarding the clinical pattern and duration of BMS, or demographic characteristics were found between patients with alleviation of mental disorders and/or pain severity and those with no improvement of mental health and/or pain severity alter the citalopram treatment.
Conclusion. Citalopram treatment may be an effective method of BMS management, especially in patients with associated anxiety-depressive disorders.