Clomipramine demethylation rate is important on the outcome of obsessive–compulsive disorder treatment

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of demethylation rate on the outcome of obsessive–compulsive disorder patients treated with clomipramine. Eighteen patients meeting the DSM-IV criteria for obsessive–compulsive disorder received 150–300 mg of clomipramine daily in a single-blind design for 12 weeks. The patients were evaluated with the Clinical Global Impression scale and the Yale–Brown Obsessive–Compulsive Scale (YBOCS). Clinical assessment and serum measurements of clomipramine and desmethylclomipramine were carried out at baseline and after 3, 6, 8, 10, and 12 weeks. A greater improvement in Clinical Global Impression scale rating was associated with a lower desmethylclomipramine/daily dose and the total clomipramine and desmethylclomipramine/daily dose. Moreover, an improved response on the YBOCS-obsession score was associated with higher serum levels of clomipramine and the total clomipramine and desmethylclomipramine/daily dose. Patients with a greater reduction in baseline YBOCS rating had a lower desmethylclomipramine/clomipramine ratio. These data suggest that a lower demethylation rate correlates with better clinical outcome.

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