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Intravenous, Pulse-Loaded Clomipramine in Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Two Case Reports

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 November 2014


Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by excessive preoccupation with an imagined or greatly exaggerated defect in appearance, and often by related rituals or pursuit of medical or surgical treatments. The frequent comorbidity of BDD with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and the phenomenological similarities between these two disorders suggest that they may be related. BDD reportedly responds to oral clomipramine (CMI).

We present here two case studies of patients meeting DSM-IV criteria for BDD with comorbid delusional disorder, somatic type, to whom we administered pulse-loaded intravenous (IV) CMI (150 mg on day 1, 200 mg on day 2). After a 4.5-day drug holiday, both patients continued on oral CMI. As reflected in modified Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) scores, both patients' BDD improved by about one third within 4.5 days of the second IV dose. Improvement continued over 2 months on oral CMI, and comorbid major depression present in one patient remitted. By the end of 8 weeks of oral CMI, the patients' modified Y-BOCS scores had decreased about 55%, and their social functioning had markedly improved.

As in OCD, pulse-loaded, IV CMI may produce a much faster response than oral CMI or selective serotonin reuptake treatment and can be well tolerated. This treatment approach to BDD deserves further study in a prospective, randomized controlled trial.

Grand Rounds
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1996

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