Prognostic factors of recovery with medication in patients with taste disorders

PLoS One. 2020 Oct 1;15(10):e0237270. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0237270. eCollection 2020.


Objectives: We aimed to elucidate the prognostic factors of the patients with taste disorders who were treated with popular and common medication in Japan.

Materials and methods: A retrospective study on the medical charts of a total of 255 patients with taste disorders who were treated primarily with oral medication including a zinc agent.

Results: The factors below were significantly linked with poor prognosis: 1) male gender, 2) taste disorders that began 3 months before starting treatment and 3) a severe taste disorder grade at the initial visit.

Conclusions: We have concluded that the prognosis for the patients with taste disorders who were treated by popular and standard medication therapy in Japan recently was significantly linked to gender, the period of 3 months before starting the treatment and the severity of the disorder at the time of diagnosis. In addition, we recognized some limitations we should resolve in further research including a method of measuring "umami" and so on.

Clinical relevance: Better awareness of these factors should be clinically useful when we manage patients with taste disorders. Earlier treatment should be started to cure the symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carnosine / administration & dosage
  • Carnosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Carnosine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Organometallic Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Taste / drug effects
  • Taste / physiology
  • Taste Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Taste Disorders / physiopathology
  • Taste Threshold / drug effects
  • Taste Threshold / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult
  • Zinc Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Zinc Compounds / therapeutic use


  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Zinc Compounds
  • polaprezinc
  • Carnosine

Grants and funding

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.