Trichotillomania in youth: a retrospective case series
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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to investigate the outcome of the naturalistic treatment of youth with Trichotillomania (TTM) in an anxiety disorders clinic sample. METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted on 11 treated patients between the ages of 6 and 17, with DSM-IV TTM. RESULTS: Ten patients were initially treated with a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI), whereas one patient was initially treated with an antipsychotic. Three of the 10 patients who started with an SRI had a response (Clinical Global Impression-Improvement Scale (CGI-I)>or=2) in TTM symptoms. Nine patients of the 11 patients were treated with an antipsychotic medication (in 8 patients the antipsychotic was added after an initial trial with an SRI, in 1 patient the antipsychotic was the first line agent), 2 patients remained on an SRI; 8/9 were responders to antipsychotic treatment and 2 patients remitted (complete cessation of hair pulling). Adverse events to the SRI or antipsychotic were experienced by 7/11 patients but did not lead to treatment discontinuation. CONCLUSIONS: This retrospective case series suggests that youth with TTM maybe responsive to pharmacological interventions with SRIs and/or antipsychotic agents, although the response seemed to be more robust with antipsychotics. These preliminary findings will need to be replicated in a larger scale controlled design.
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