Fluoxetine for Hypochondriacal Patients Without Major Depression

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Hypochondriasis without concomitant depression is often considered to be unresponsive to pharmacotherapy. Given marked similarities between hypochondriasis and obsessive-compulsive disorder, we decided to conduct an open trial of high-dose fluoxetine for patients with DSM-III-R hypochondriasis who did not meet criteria for major depression. Ten of 16 patients were much improved at the end of 12 weeks. A comparison of baseline and week 12 scores by the use of a paired-samples t-test revealed a statistically significant reduction in hypochondriacal concerns, as measured by the Heightened Illness Concern Clinical Global Impression Severity scale, the Whiteley Index of Hypochondriasis, and the Heightened Illness Concern Questionnaire. These results suggest that fluoxetine may be a useful therapy for hypochondriacal patients without marked depressive features—a group previously considered to be treatment refractory. (J Clin Psychopharma-col 1993;13:438–441)

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