Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common psychiatric illness in children and adolescents. Previous evidence suggests that fluoxetine is effective in the treatment of OCD in children and adolescents. However, those studies had small sample sizes. As a result, a systematic review, which is a more powerful method to calculate the true effect size, can be applied to examine the efficacy, acceptability and tolerability of fluoxetine in the treatment of OCD in children and adolescents.
The aims of this study were to review the efficacy, acceptability and tolerability of fluoxetine in the treatment of OCD in children and adolescents.
Study appraisal and synthesis methods:
The titles and abstracts collected from electronic databases were evaluated. Then, the full-text versions of relevant studies were thoroughly assessed and extracted.
A total of 188 randomized patients in three RCTs of fluoxetine versus placebo and one RCT of fluoxetine versus citalopram were included in this review. Considering efficacious outcomes, the pooled mean change score of the CY-BOCS in the fluoxetine-treated group was significantly greater than that in the placebo-treated group. Additionally, the CGI-S in the fluoxetine-treated group and the pooled mean change score of the NIMH-OC were also significantly different from those in the placebo-treated group.
This review included studies with small sample sizes.
Conclusions and implications of key findings:
Fluoxetine is associated with a significantly greater reduction in OCD severity, as measured by the CY-BOCS, NIMH-OC and CGI-S, in children and adolescents. Additionally, it is well tolerated in children and adolescents. The acceptability is comparable to that of the placebo-treated group. Nonetheless, further large prospective trials should be conducted to confirm these outcomes.
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