Clomipramine treatment of obsessive compulsive symptomatology in schizophrenic patients

J. Zohar, Z. Kaplan, J. Benjamin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Schizophrenic patients with obsessive compulsive symptoms have poor prognoses. Clomipramine is an effective antiobsessional agent, but its possible antiobsessional effect in schizophrenic patients with obsessive compulsive symptoms who are taking neuroleptics has not been studied. Method: We conducted an open pilot study in which we added clomipramine to ongoing neuroleptic regimens of five chronic DSM-III-R schizophrenic (N = 3) or schizoaffective (N = 2) patients who were consecutively admitted for treatment during an active phase. Clomipramine treatment was subsequently discontinued in two patients (off-on-off design), whereas it was discontinued and then reinstituted in three patients (off-on-off-on design). Results: All five patients had substantial reductions in previously persistent obsessive compulsive symptoms, and all experienced relapse of their obsessive compulsive symptoms after clomipramine treatment cessation. In the three patients for whom the authors were able to reinstitute clomipramine, an improvement in obsessive compulsive symptoms was noticed once again. Only one patient had an exacerbation of her psychosis with the combined treatment. Conclusion: The addition of clomipramine, a serotonin reuptake blocker, to ongoing neuroleptic treatment in schizophrenic patients with obsessive compulsive symptoms was associated with specific reductions of those symptoms. Further studies of antiobsessional agents in selected schizophrenic patients appear warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-388
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychiatry
Volume54
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

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