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Compr Psychiatry. 2009 May-Jun;50(3):240-4. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2008.08.004. Epub 2008 Oct 17.

What is the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors on temperament and character in patients with fibromyalgia?

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Institute of Psychiatry, Catholic University of Sacred Heart of Rome, Largo F. Vito 1, Rome 00168, Italy.



The purpose of the present study was to assess a group of patients with fibromyalgia (FM) and control subjects using the personality questionnaire proposed by Cloninger and to determine possible changes in the Italian version of the Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised patterns of patients with FM after therapy with serotoninergic antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs]).


Sixty patients with FM filled out the Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised and Beck Depression Inventory before and after 6-month therapy with SSRIs (escitalopram 10 mg, fluoxetine 20 mg, or paroxetine 20 mg). A total of 80 age-, sex-, and education level-matched healthy subjects were selected as a control group.


Both in the pretreatment and posttreatment period, patients were found to have higher harm avoidance and lower self-directedness scores than healthy controls. In addition, harm avoidance and self-directedness were state and trait dependent.


Depressive symptoms in patients with FM can be significantly decreased by treatment with SSRIs. A careful clinical assessment and study of personality profile is needed to identify patients with FM who may benefit from antidepressant pharmacologic therapy and specific psychotherapeutic interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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