Adding 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor type 3 antagonists may reduce drug-induced nausea in poor insight obsessive-compulsive patients taking off-label doses of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: A 52-week follow-up case report

Michele Fornaro, Matteo Martino

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Poor-insight obsessive-compulsive disorder (PI-OCD) is a severe form of OCD where the 'typically obsessive' features of intrusive, 'egodystonic' feelings and thoughts are absent. PI-OCD is difficult to treat, often requiring very high doses of serotonergic drugs as well as antipsychotic augmentation. When this occurs, unpleasant side effects as nausea are common, eventually further reducing compliance to medication and increasing the need for pharmacological alternatives. We present the case of a PI-OCD patient who developed severe nausea after response to off-label doses of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), fluoxetine. Drug choices are discussed, providing pharmacodynamic rationales and hypotheses along with reports of rating scale scores, administered within a follow-up period of 52 weeks. A slight reduction of fluoxetine dose, augmentation with mirtazapine and a switch from amisulpride to olanzapine led to resolution of nausea while preserving the anti-OCD therapeutic effect. Mirtazapine and olanzapine have already been suggested for OCD treatment, although a lack of evidence exists about their role in the course of PI-OCD. Both mirtazapine and olanzapine also act as 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor type 3 (5-HT3) blockers, making them preferred choices especially in cases of drug-induced nausea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalAnnals of General Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - Dec 10 2010
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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