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An Open-Label Trial of Venlafaxine in Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  • Andrea Allen, Sallie Jo Hadley, Alicia Kaplan, Daphne Simeon, Jennifer Friedberg, Lauren Priday, Bryann R. Baker, Jennifer L. Greenberg and Eric Hollander...

Abstract

Objective:

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a preoccupation with imagined ugliness, is a disabling condition that seems to respond preferentially to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. This open-label trial examines venlafaxine's efficacy in BDD and is the first known study of this serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor in BDD.

Methods:

A total of 17 BDD patients 16–65 years of age entered and 11 completed a 12–16 week open-label trial of venlafaxine. Participants were treated with venlafaxine until a therapeutic dose (minimum of 150 mg/day) was reached and then maintained at that dose for 8 weeks. Key outcome measures were the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale Modified for Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale.

Results:

Venlafaxine was found to be effective in lessening the specific symptoms and global severity of BDD. Paired t-tests were used to compare baseline and final ratings on the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale Modified for Body Dysmorphic Disorder total, obsessions, and compulsions scores; by this measure venlafaxine significantly reduced BDD symptoms overall (P=.012), as well as obsessions (P=.034) and compulsions specifically (P=.021). A single sample t-test, comparing final Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale ratings to “no change” (score: 4) found significant improvement following treatment.

Conclusion:

Venlafaxine may be an effective treatment for BDD, including both obsessive and compulsive symptoms. Controlled research on venlafaxine in BDD is recommended.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Please direct all correspondence to: Andrea Allen, PhD, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1230, New York, NY 10029-6574; Tel: 212-241-3176, Fax: 212-987-4031; E-mail: andrea.allen@mssm.edu.

References

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