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J Psychosom Res. 2004 Apr;56(4):455-60.

Pharmacotherapy of somatoform disorders.

Author information

  • Department of Psychiatry, Division of Therapeutics, Somatic Disorders Program, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 69, New York, NY 10032, USA. bafl@columbia.edu



This paper reviews the published literature on the pharmacologic management of somatoform disorders.


Using Medline, the author identified all articles published between 1970 and 2003 on this topic, selecting the best-designed studies for inclusion.


The review reveals that patients with the obsessional cluster of somatoform disorders (hypochondriasis and body dysmorphic disorder [BDD]) respond well to serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs). Less is known about the pharmacologic responsiveness of patients with the primarily somatic cluster of somatoform disorders (somatization, pain), a patient group that is common in the health provider's office.


Improvements in the design of future clinical trials are needed. A particular focus needs to be applied to study the neglected area of the pharmacologic treatment of syndromal and subsyndromal somatization and pain disorders.

Copyright 2004 Elsevier Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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