L-carnosine as an adjuvant to fluvoxamine in treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder: A randomized double-blind study

Hum Psychopharmacol. 2017 Jul;32(4). doi: 10.1002/hup.2584. Epub 2017 May 8.


Background: Dysregulation of glutamate is implicated in the pathogenesis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Consistently, glutamate-modulating agents, such as riluzole and memantine have been used in OCD treatment. Previous research has identified some neuroprotective role for L-carnosine potentially via its modulatory effect on glutamate. Here, we assessed the efficacy of L-carnosine as adjuvant to fluvoxamine in OCD treatment.

Methods: Forty-four patients diagnosed with moderate to severe OCD were recruited in a randomized double-blind trial. Patients received either L-carnosine or placebo as adjuvant to fluvoxamine for 10 weeks. The Yale- Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) was used for assessing the severity of symptoms at baseline and at weeks 4, 8, and 10.

Results: General linear model repeated measure showed significant effects for Time × Treatment interaction on total Y-BOCS [F (2.10, 88.42) = 8.66, p < 0.001], obsession [F (1.88, 79.34) = 4.96, p = 0.01] and compulsion [F (1.88, 79.11) = 4.57, p = 0.01]. At week 10, the change from baseline in Y-BOCS scores was 8.86 ± 2.89 (mean ± SD) in the L-carnosine group compared to 5.86 ± 2.88 in the placebo group.

Conclusion: L-carnosine results in significant reduction of obsessive-compulsive symptoms when used as an adjuvant to fluvoxamine.

Keywords: L-carnosine; clinical trial; glutamate; obsessive compulsive disorder.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carnosine / adverse effects
  • Carnosine / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Fluvoxamine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotropic Drugs / adverse effects
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Carnosine
  • Fluvoxamine