Clinical predictors of drug response in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Stefano Erzegovesi, Maria Cristina Cavallini, Paolo Cavedini, Giuseppina Diaferia, Marco Locatelli, Laura Bellodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to evaluate which clinical variables might influence the antiobsessional response to proserotonergic drugs in a sample of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). One hundred fifty-nine patients with DSM-IV OCD underwent a 12-week standardized treatment with fluvoxamine, clomipramine, citalopram, or paroxetine. According to treatment response, defined as a reduction of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale total score >35%, patients were divided into two groups. Ninety patients (56.6%) responded to treatment and 69 (43.4%) did not. Responders had a significantly higher frequency of positive family history for OCD (FH-OCD) in their first-degree relatives, whereas nonresponders had an earlier onset and a higher frequency of "poor insight" subtype and somatic obsessions. The predictive value of all these variables was tested by a stepwise logistic regression analysis that confirmed poor insight and FH-OCD to be the best predictors of poor and good drug treatment response, respectively. These preliminary findings need additional investigations toward a better definition of the genetic and biological heterogeneity of patients with OCD, and they underlie the importance of collecting the insight score and family history for psychiatric disorders in the pretreatment assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-492
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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