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Atypical anti-psychotics in delusional parasitosis: a retrospective case series of 20 patients.

Author(s): Kenchaiah BK, Kumar S, Tharyan P

Affiliation(s): Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India. basanth24@hotmail.com

Publication date & source: 2010-01, Int J Dermatol., 49(1):95-100.

BACKGROUND: Delusional Parasitosis (DP) is a relatively uncommon condition wherein there is a fixed belief that one is infested with living organisms despite a lack of medical evidence of such infestation. Pimozide has been mooted as specific for the treatment of this condition. Atypical anti-psychotics have received attention in recent years. METHODS: We describe the clinical features and treatment responses in a retrospective review of 20 cases treated at this department over a 5 year period, and selectively review the literature. RESULTS: The majority were treated with atypical anti-psychotics and all subjects who followed up showed varying degrees of clinical improvement irrespective of the anti-psychotic used. CONCLUSION: The evidence for pimozide as first line drug in DP is limited to one small, non-randomized placebo-controlled trial. DP responds well to most anti-psychotics. Prospective randomized trials are needed to clarify optimal treatment of this relatively rare but debilitating condition.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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