The effectiveness of high-dose escitalopram in the treatment of patients suffering from schizophrenia with comorbid obsessive-compulsive disorder: an open-label study

Dafna Sara Rubin-Kahana, Assaf Shelef, Abraham Weizman, Doron Gothelf, Igor Timinski, Baruch Spivak, Rafael Stryjer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Obsessive-compulsive disorder frequently co-occur with schizophrenia causing a significant impairment. There is a paucity of published data on the treatment of such complicated patients. It has been suggested that the combination of antipsychotics and antiobsessive agents is the best treatment for schizophrenia with obsessive-compulsive disorder; however, there is no published data regarding the use of high dose (up to 40 mg/day) escitalopram. This open-label, prospective study was designed to investigate the efficacy, short-term safety and tolerability of escitalopram in doses up to 40 mg in patients with schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Patients were treated with increasing doses of escitalopram for 13 weeks. Thirteen patients (86.67%) completed the study. A significant improvement was observed in the total Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) scores and in the scores of Y-BOCS-Obsession and Y-BOCS-Compulsion subscales. Furthermore, a significant improvement was observed in the total scores of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and Clinical Global Impression-severity scale. Escitalopram, up to 40 mg/day was well tolerated and may be beneficial in the management of patients with schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Further studies are needed to confirm this finding and to assess long-term safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Clinical Psychopharmacology
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • comorbidity
  • escitalopram
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • refractory
  • schizophrenia
  • treatment resistant

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