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Clinical Trial
, 41 (6), 481-7

Paroxetine Treatment of Compulsive Hoarding

Clinical Trial

Paroxetine Treatment of Compulsive Hoarding

Sanjaya Saxena et al. J Psychiatr Res.


Objective: Compulsive hoarding, found in many patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), has been associated with poor response to serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) medications in some reports. However, no prior study has quantitatively measured response to standardized pharmacotherapy in compulsive hoarders. We sought to determine whether compulsive hoarders would respond as well as non-hoarding OCD patients to the SRI, paroxetine.

Methods: Seventy-nine patients with OCD (32 patients with the compulsive hoarding syndrome and 47 patients without prominent hoarding symptoms) were treated openly with paroxetine (mean dose 41.6+/-12.8 mg/day; mean duration 80.4+/-23.5 days) according to a standardized protocol, from 3/1993 to 7/2005. All subjects were free of psychotropic medication for at least four weeks prior to study entry. No psychotherapy or psychotropic medications except paroxetine were allowed during the study period. Subjects were assessed before and after treatment with the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), Hamilton Anxiety Scale (Ham-A), Global Assessment Scale (GAS), and Clinical Global Impression/Improvement (CGI) scale.

Results: Both compulsive hoarders and non-hoarding OCD patients improved significantly with treatment (p<0.001), with nearly identical changes in Y-BOCS, HDRS, Ham-A, and GAS scores. There were no significant differences between groups in the proportions of patients who completed or responded to treatment. Hoarding symptoms improved as much as other OCD symptoms.

Conclusions: Compulsive hoarders responded as well to paroxetine treatment as non-hoarding OCD patients, suggesting that SRI medications are effective for compulsive hoarding. Controlled trials of SRI medications for compulsive hoarding are now warranted.

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