The Efficacy of Fluvoxamine in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Effects of Comorbid Chronic Tic Disorder

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This retrospective case-controlled analysis evaluated treatment response to the serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluvoxamine in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), with or without a comorbid chronic tic disorder. Thirty-three flu-voxamine-treated OCD patients with a concurrent chronic tic disorder were compared with 33 age-and sex-matched OCD patients without chronic tics who had received fluvoxamine treatment in the same setting during the same period of time and in a similar manner. Although both groups of patients demonstrated statistically significant reductions in obsessive-compulsive, depressive, and anxiety symptoms with fluvoxamine treatment, the frequency and magnitude of response of obsessive-compulsive symptoms was significantly different between the two groups. A clinically meaningful improvement in obsessive-compulsive symptoms occurred in only 21% of OCD patients with comorbid chronic tics compared with a 52% response rate in OCD patients without chronic tics. Moreover, OCD patients with a concurrent chronic tic disorder showed only a 17% reduction in Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale scores compared with a 32% decrease in the severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms in those OCD patients without chronic tics. These results suggest that serotonin reuptake inhibitor monotherapy may be less efficacious for improving obsessive-compulsive symptoms in OCD patients with than without tics. Combined with differences in the clinical phenomenology between these two groups, these treatment response data support the hypothesis that OCD patients with a comorbid chronic tic disorder may be a clinically meaningful subtype. (J Clin Psychopharmacol 1993;13:354–358)

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