In this study, 14 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) who had received at least 3 months of treatment with clomipramine were treated with the anxiolytic agent buspirone in a 10-week, double-blind study. Before the addition of buspirone, these patients as a group had shown a partial but incomplete reduction (averaging 28%) in OCD symptoms during clomipramine treatment alone. Because buspirone has been reported to be efficacious as a sole agent and as an adjunct agent in combination with fluoxetine in patients with OCD, we were interested in assessing whether buspirone added to clomipramine treatment would be associated with further significant reductions in OCD or depressive symptoms. Although adjuvant buspirone treatment was well tolerated in most subjects, mean OCD and depressive symptoms, as evaluated by standardized rating scales, did not significantly change from baseline scores achieved on clomipramine treatment alone, either after the addition of placebo for 2 weeks or buspirone (57 ± 7 mg/day) for an additional 10 weeks. However on an individual basis, 4 (29%) of the 14 patients did have an additional 25% reduction in OCD symptoms after adjuvant buspirone treatment. This double-blind study suggests that adjunctive buspirone therapy is not generally associated with significant further clinical improvement in OCD or depressive symptoms compared with clomipramine monotherapy, but that there may be a subgroup of patients who do benefit from adjuvant buspirone therapy.
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