Child and Adolescent Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Treated with Citalopram: Findings from an Open Trial of 23 Cases
The adverse effects and potential clinical value of citalopram, a highly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, were examined in 23 children and adolescent (9-18 years old, 11 boys) with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in an open-label trial of citalopram 10-40 mg (modal 40 mg) daily. After 10 weeks of citalopram treatment, statistically significant improvements were reflected in OCD symptom ratings (mean Total Y-BOCS/CY-BOCS scores, 30 +/- 4 vs. 21 +/- 4, p < 0.001) and global assessment scores (mean CGAS, 59 +/- 11 vs. 71 +/- 11, p < 0.001). Over 75% of these youth showed a marked improvement (4 patients had more than 50% reduction in CY-BOCS scores) or moderate improvement (14 patients had 20%-50% reduction) in OCD symptoms. No patient was found to have worsened during citalopram treatment. Adverse effects appeared minor and transient. None of the 23 patients dropped out of the study or had the medication discontinued because of side effects. These open trials of citalopram do not allow for any firm conclusions regarding its effectiveness in the treatment of childhood and adolescent OCD, but these preliminary findings suggest that citalopram might be particularly well-tolerated in children and adolescents with OCD at doses up to 40 mg daily.
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