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Clinical studies evaluate potential treatments for mouth ulcers

lcers compared with baseline," the authors write. "Patients taking placebo reported no improvement in these variables. Patients taking pentoxifylline also reported more ulcer-free days than those taking placebo. However, the differences were small and, with the exception of median ulcer size, did not reach statistical significance."

More patients taking the active treatment experienced adverse effects, including dizziness, headaches, stomach upset, increased heart rate and nausea. Sixty days after stopping treatment, all patients reported ulcers similar to those they had in the pre-trial phase.

"Pentoxifylline did not prevent the ulcer episodes from occurring or result in a long-term cure," the authors conclude. "Thus, given the potential for significant adverse effects and the small benefits of the drug demonstrated in this clinical trial, we cannot recommend pentoxifylline as the drug of first choice for treatment of recurrent apthous stomatitis, although it may have a second-line role in the management of patients unresponsive to other treatments or as an adjunct to other treatments."

In the second article, Thierry Passeron, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Nice, France, conducted a double-blind randomized trial of 1 percent pimecrolimus cream for the treatment of oral erosive lichen planus. Six patients received pimecrolimus cream and six received a placebo cream without the active ingredient; both applied the cream on mouth sores twice a day for four weeks. The efficacy of the treatment was measured along a 12-point clinical score, and the blood level of pimecrolimus was measured at the beginning of the study and again after 14 and 28 days.

"In the pimecrolimus group, all the patients but one reported a moderate to important improvement of their symptoms and were satisfied by the treatment," the authors write. "This improvement was observed from the first week of treatment, usually within the first two day
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Contact: Martin H. Thornhill
M.Thornhill@Sheffield.ac.uk
JAMA and Archives Journals
16-Apr-2007


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