Just Ask the Expert: Is gingival hyperplasia reversible?
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Q: My dog had been on amlodipine to control his hypertension (most likely secondary to protein-losing nephropathy). He had developed severe gingival hyperplasia—so bad that he could no longer close his mouth.
About two weeks ago, I switched him to Prazosin. However, I was just curious if the hyperplasia is reversible, and, if so, how many weeks or months does it take?
Thank you very much.
A: I have seen numerous examples of gingival hyperplasia develop as a side effect to amlodipine (Norvasc) administration. In the cases where we were able to discontinue or switch drugs, the hyperplasia often resolved on its own in 2 to 3 weeks. If not, one treatment of gingivectomy surgery is effective. In cases where it is not possible to switch drugs and we have performed gingivectomy, the gum overgrowth returns very rapidly.
For your patient, where you have been able to change drugs, I would give it a month. If the gingival tissue has not returned to normal, perform gingivectomy, and you should be fine.
Daniel T. Carmichael, DVM, DAVDC
Veterinary Medical Center
75 Sunrise Highway
West Islip, NY 11795
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