Introduction: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are considered the most effective and well-established pharmacotherapy for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a chronic and disabling condition. However, ~40% of patients do not have a significant improvement, suggesting that new medications are needed. This study was designed to investigate the treatment response to escitalopram in OCD patients.
Methods: This open-label study involved 11 adult OCD outpatients diagnosed with the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Axis I Disorders. Data were collected and the treatment response was assessed by an experienced psychiatrist by using the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale. Subjects received escitalopram 30 mg/day for 12 weeks starting at 10 mg/day. Dosage adjustments were made within 2 weeks, depending on the tolerability of the patient.
Results: Six of the 11 patients (54.5%) presented a reduction of at least 40% in the baseline total Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale scores.
Conclusion: Despite the small sample size and the open-label nature of this trial, these data suggest that escitalopram may be a useful option for patients with OCD.