Ssris in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder

Charles Cartwright, Eric Hollander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The introduction of the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) over the past decade has provided exciting new opportunities for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The serotonin hypothesis, based on the preferential response of OCD to the serotonin reuptake inhibitor, clomipramine, paved the way for research into the efficacy of the SSRIs in the treatment of this disorder. Large, controlled, multicenter studies have found clomipramine and the SSRIs, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline, and paroxetine, to be effective and safe in the treatment of OCD. Meta-analytic studies have reported that clomipramine is superior to the SSRIs; however, direct head-to-head comparisons suggest equal efficacy. As SSRIs have a more favorable side-effect profile they may be preferable as first-line treatment of OCD. Improvement following adequate OCD drug treatment is frequently partial whereupon augmentation strategies may become necessary. High rates of relapse have been reported on discontinuation of SRI treatment. Long-term maintenance treatment has been found to be effective in sustaining initial therapeutic gains and bringing about further improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Clomipramine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Obsessive- compulsive disorder
  • Paroxetine
  • SSRIs
  • Sertraline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Ssris in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this