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J Clin Psychiatry. 1990 Dec;51(12):517-21.

The pharmacotherapy of moral or religious scrupulosity.

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  • 1NYS Psychiatric Institute, NY 10032.


Moral or religious scrupulosity is a disabling condition which is sometimes seen in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The authors described 10 patients with moral or religious scrupulosity who were treated with fluoxetine or clomipramine. Seven of the 10 patients completed open treatment of at least 8 weeks without requiring adjunctive medication; 5 of those 7 patients were rated as much improved. Among the 3 patients who required adjunctive medication, 1 was rated as much improved. Of the 4 nonresponders at 3 months, 2 responded after longer treatment trials. These results suggest that extreme moral or religious concerns and behaviors might be a form of OCD and that the scrupulosity can be effectively treated with serotonin reuptake blockers.

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