Paroxetine open-label treatment of pediatric outpatients with obsessive-compulsive disorder

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1999 Sep;38(9):1180-5. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199909000-00024.


Objective: Paroxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor with demonstrated efficacy in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults. This study evaluates the safety and effectiveness of paroxetine in pediatric OCD patients.

Method: In a 12-week, open-label trial of paroxetine, 20 OCD outpatients, aged 8 to 17 years, were treated for OCD with daily doses ranging from 10 to 60 mg. Target symptoms were rated at regular intervals with the Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (CY-BOCS), the Children's Global Assessment Scale, the Clinical Global Impression Scale, the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, and the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale.

Results: Paroxetine proved relatively safe in this brief trial with a small sample and appeared to be effective in patients with OCD; mean CY-BOCS scores decreased significantly (z = 3.49, p = .0005) from 30.6 +/- 3.5 to 21.6 +/- 6.8 on medication. The most common side effects (n > or = 2) were hyperactivity/behavioral activation, headache, insomnia, nausea, and anxiety. Paroxetine did not have to be discontinued in any of the patients because of side effects; the most serious side effects included hyperactivity/behavioral activation in 3 younger patients (< 10 years) necessitating dosage reduction but not discontinuation.

Conclusions: Preliminary evidence suggests that short-term treatment of pediatric OCD outpatients with paroxetine may be relatively safe and effective.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Paroxetine / administration & dosage
  • Paroxetine / adverse effects
  • Paroxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Paroxetine