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, 12 (2), 187-97

Drug Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder


Drug Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Michael Kellner. Dialogues Clin Neurosci.


Knowledge of pharmacotherapeutic treatment options in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has grown considerably over the past 40 years. Serotonergic antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRls) and clomipramine, are the established pharmacologic first-line treatment of OCD. Medium to large dosages and acute treatment for at least 3 months are recommended until efficacy is assessed. In case of significant improvement, maintenance treatment is necessary, Unfortunately, about half of the patients do not respond sufficiently to oral serotonergic antidepressants; augmentation with atypical antipsychotics is an established second-line drug treatment strategy. Alternatives include intravenous serotonergic antidepressants and combination with or switch to cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. Remarkably, a considerable proportion of OCD patients still do not receive rational drug treatment. Novel research approaches, such as preliminary treatment studies with glutamatergic substances, and trials with further drugs, as well as needed aspects of future research, are reviewed.

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