Article |

Clomipramine in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:  Further Evidence for a Serotonergic Mechanism of Action

Chawki Benkelfat, MD; Dennis L. Murphy, MD; Joseph Zohar, MD; James L. Hill, PhD; Gay Grover, RN, MS; Thomas R. Insel, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(1):23-28. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810010025004.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

• Data from several previous studies link clomipramine's potent serotonergic effects to its clinical efficacy in reducing the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). To investigate this relationship further, we administered the serotonin (5-HT) receptor antagonist, metergoline, and placebo to ten patients with OCD in a crossover study carried out under double-blind, random-assignment conditions. In a previous study of untreated patients with OCD, we found no differences in the behavioral response to single-dose administration of metergoline or placebo. In the present study, patients with OCD receiving clomipramine hydrochloride on a long-term basis (with an average 40% lessening in OC symptoms) responded to a four-day period of administration of metergoline with significantly greater self- and observer-rated anxiety compared with the four-day placebo period. Obsessive-compulsive symptoms also tended to be greater during the metergoline phase, with significant drug-time interactions for both OC symptoms and anxiety peaking on day 4 of the metergoline phase. As anticipated, metergoline lowered plasma prolactin concentrations (providing evidence of physiologically significant 5-HT antagonism) but did not alter plasma clomipramine concentrations. These data further support the hypothesis that clomipramine's therapeutic behavioral effects in OCD are mediated via serotonergic mechanisms.


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.