Escitalopram treatment of trichotillomania.
With the understanding that serotonergic drugs might curb compulsive hair pulling, we conducted a preliminary investigation examining the effectiveness of escitalopram, a potent and selective serotonin uptake inhibitor, in the treatment of trichotillomania. Twenty women meeting the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV-Text revision criteria for trichotillomania participated in a 12-week open-label trial of treatment with escitalopram 10-30 mg/day. Response was prospectively defined as meeting the following criteria: (i) clinician version of clinical global impressions-improvement scale score of 1 or 2 (very much improved or much improved), and (ii) > or =50% reduction from baseline in the National Institute of Mental Health trichotillomania severity scale total score. Sixteen individuals, who had at least one postbaseline assessment, were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. Eight individuals (50%) were judged to be responders. Trichotillomania severity scale mean (SE) total score decreased significantly over time in the intention-to-treat analysis [15.4 (0.9)-9.4 (1.4); F=7.3; P<0.0001] and for completers [15.8 (1.0)-7.5 (1.2); F=10.1; P<0.0001]. Side effects were mild. Escitalopram treatment for 12 weeks led to significant improvement of trichotillomania in some patients in this small open-label trial.
Gadde, KM; Ryan Wagner, H; Connor, KM; Foust, MS
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