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Psychopharmacology of Comorbid Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Depression

Johan A. den Boer, M.D.

Published: April 1, 1997

Article Abstract

A high degree of comorbidity appears to exist between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) anddepression, both with respect to symptomatology and at the syndromal level. It has been argued thatnonspecific effects on dysphoric mood, anxiety, and depressive symptoms account for the therapeuticefficacy of antidepressants in OCD. However, several controlled studies have shown that neither thepresence nor initial severity of depression has any impact on therapeutic improvement in OCD. Inparticular, studies with the serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) fluvoxamine and fluoxetinehave revealed beneficial effects in OCD, irrespective of the presence of depressive symptoms. Theefficacy of the other SSRIs in OCD requires further study. In conclusion, the improvement in OCsymptoms seen with fluvoxamine and fluoxetine does not depend on concomitant affective disorder.

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Volume: 58

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