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Fluvoxamine Treatment of Trichotillomania

Stanley, Melinda A. PhD; Breckenridge, Joy K. MEd; Swann, Alan C. MD; Freeman, B. Ed MD; Reich, Linda MD

Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology: August 1997 - Volume 17 - Issue 4 - p 278-283

The present study examined the efficacy of fluvoxamine in the treatment of trichotillomania (TM) and coexistent clinical features.Twenty-one participants with a principal diagnosis of TM were given fluvoxamine in a 12-week open trial. For 13 patients who completed treatment, significant improvement was noted on only a few measures of hair pulling. End-state analyses for the entire group of participants, however, demonstrated significant improvement in measures of distress, duration, control, and resistance. Significant decreases over treatment were also found on measures of coexistent anxiety for both the completer and the entire participant groups; depressive symptoms improved for completers. Conclusions about the effectiveness of fluvoxamine for treatment of TM cannot be drawn, given the uncontrolled nature of the study; however, end-state analyses suggest the potential utility of fluvoxamine in a subset of patients with TM. (J Clin Psychopharmacol 1997;17:278-283).

(Stanley, Swann, Freeman, Reich) Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, Texas; (Breckenridge) Department of Educational Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, Texas

Received September 11, 1996; accepted after revision February 2, 1997.

Address requests for reprints to: Melinda A. Stanley, PhD, University of Texas, Mental Sciences Institute, 1300 Moursund Avenue, Houston, TX 77030-3497.

© Williams & Wilkins 1997. All Rights Reserved.