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J Clin Psychiatry. 1996 Sep;57(9):398-401.

Fluoxetine in the treatment of anger: an open clinical trial.

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  • 1Department of Veterans Affairs, Charleston, SC 29401-5799, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Intense anger, easy irritability, and low frustration tolerance are frequently encountered in clinical practice and may occur as part of the constellation of symptoms associated with a number of Axis I and Axis II diagnoses. Recent studies have suggested the efficacy of fluoxetine in treating anger in depressed and borderline patients. The present study examines the treatment of anger as a target symptom regardless of accompanying psychopathology.

METHOD:

In this preliminary trial, 11 subjects experiencing intense anger were treated in an open-label fashion with fluoxetine over an 8-week period. Anger was measured by a clinician-administered Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S) scale and a self-report anger inventory, the Multidimensional Anger Inventory (MAI). The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression was administered at baseline and final visits.

RESULTS:

All 11 enrolled patients completed the study, and all patients demonstrated clinical improvement as measured by both the CGI-S and the MAI. Nine patients were rated as responders and 2 as nonresponders according to prospectively established criteria. Fluoxetine was well tolerated and showed rapid onset of action.

CONCLUSION:

This study is limited by small sample size and nonblinded, open-label design, but nonetheless suggests that fluoxetine may be useful in moderating anger as it occurs as part of the symptomatology of a number of Axis I and Axis II disorders. Controlled studies are warranted.

PMID:
9746447
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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