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A double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of fluoxetine plus quetiapine or clomipramine versus fluoxetine plus placebo for obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder patients who do not improve sufficiently after treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor might improve further if other drugs were added to the treatment regimen. The authors present a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comparing the efficacy of adding quetiapine or clomipramine to a treatment regimen consisting of fluoxetine. Between May 2007 and March 2010, a total of 54 patients with a primary diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder, as defined by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, and a current Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) score of at least 16, the score having dropped by less than 35% after fluoxetine monotherapy, were allocated to 1 of 3 arms (n = 18 per arm): quetiapine + fluoxetine (≤200 and ≤40 mg/d, respectively), clomipramine + fluoxetine (≤75 and ≤40 mg/d, respectively), or placebo + fluoxetine (≤80 mg/d of fluoxetine). Follow-up was 12 weeks. The Y-BOCS scores were the main outcome measure. No severe adverse events occurred during the trial, and 40 patients (74%) completed the 12-week protocol. The Y-BOCS scores (mean [SD]) were significantly better in the placebo + fluoxetine and clomipramine + fluoxetine groups than in the quetiapine + fluoxetine group (final: 18 [7] and 18 [7], respectively, vs 25 [6], P < 0.001) (reduction from baseline: -6.7 [confidence interval {CI}, -9.6 to -3.8; and -6.5 [CI, -9.0 to -3.9], respectively, vs -0.1 [CI, -2.9 to 2.7], P < 0.001; number needed to treat = 2.4). The clomipramine-fluoxetine combination is a safe and effective treatment for fluoxetine nonresponders, especially those who cannot tolerate high doses of fluoxetine. However, the period of monotherapy with the maximum dose of fluoxetine should be extended before a combination treatment strategy is applied.


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  • Authors+Show Affiliations


    Department & Institute of Psychiatry, Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

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    Antipsychotic Agents
    Double-Blind Method
    Drug Therapy, Combination
    Follow-Up Studies
    Middle Aged
    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
    Treatment Outcome
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Comparative Study
    Journal Article
    Randomized Controlled Trial
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't



    PubMed ID