Fluoxetine treatment of children with selective mutism: an open trial

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1996 May;35(5):615-21. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199605000-00016.


Objective: A pilot study was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of fluoxetine treatment for children with selective mutism (elective mutism in DSM-III-R).

Method: Twenty-one children (mean age 8.2 years, range 5 through 14) participated in a 9-week open trial of fluoxetine in graduated doses (mean end dose 28.1 mg, range 10 to 60 mg) with systematic baseline and outcome evaluations and weekly clinical assessment.

Results: All 21 children met DSM-III-R and DSM-IV criteria for anxiety disorders. After fluoxetine treatment, 76% were improved, with diminished anxiety and increased speech in public settings, including school. Improvement at week 9 was inversely correlated with age.

Conclusions: Persistent selective mutism presenting with comorbid anxiety disorders may respond to fluoxetine treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / administration & dosage*
  • Fluoxetine / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutism / drug therapy*
  • Mutism / psychology
  • Personality Assessment
  • Pilot Projects
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine