Fluvoxamine in obsessive-compulsive disorder: similar efficacy but superior tolerability in comparison with clomipramine.

Research paper by Emanuela E Mundo, Frédéric F Rouillon, M. Luisa ML Figuera, Michael M Stigler

Indexed on: 31 Oct '02Published on: 31 Oct '02Published in: Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental


Some meta-analyses have suggested that the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are less effective than clomipramine in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The aim of this double-blind, randomised, multicentre study was to directly compare the efficacy and safety of fluvoxamine and clomipramine in patients with OCD. A total of 227 patients were randomised to flexible doses of fluvoxamine or clomipramine (both 150-300 mg/day) for 10 weeks. Fluvoxamine and clomipramine were both clinically effective and there were no statistically significant differences between the two treatment groups, at any visit, on the National Institute of Mental Health Obsessive-Compulsive global rating scale, the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive scale (total score and obsession and compulsion subscores), the Clinical Global Impression severity of illness and global improvement subscales, the Clinical Anxiety Scale and the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. However, there were differences in safety between the two treatments. Compared with fluvoxamine-treated patients, those treated with clomipramine had more anticholinergic side effects (dry mouth, constipation and tremor) and premature withdrawals due to adverse events (18 versus 9). The results from this controlled study indicate that fluvoxamine is as effective as clomipramine in the treatment of OCD but has a better tolerability profile. Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.