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Fluoxetine treatment of children with selective mutism: an open trial.

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New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, New York, USA.



A pilot study was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of fluoxetine treatment for children with selective mutism (elective mutism in DSM-III-R).


Twenty-one children (mean age 8.2 years, range 5 through 14) participated in a 9-week open trial of fluoxetine in graduated doses (mean end dose 28.1 mg, range 10 to 60 mg) with systematic baseline and outcome evaluations and weekly clinical assessment.


All 21 children met DSM-III-R and DSM-IV criteria for anxiety disorders. After fluoxetine treatment, 76% were improved, with diminished anxiety and increased speech in public settings, including school. Improvement at week 9 was inversely correlated with age.


Persistent selective mutism presenting with comorbid anxiety disorders may respond to fluoxetine treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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