Placebo-controlled study of fluvoxamine in the treatment of patients with compulsive buying

Philip T. Ninan, Susan L. Mcelroy, Cecelia P. Kane, Bettina T. Knight, Leah S. Casuto, Steve E. Rose, Frederick A. Marsteller, Charles B. Nemeroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Compulsive buying is a syndrome characterized by the impulsive and/or compulsive buying of unneeded objects that results in personal distress, impairment in vocational or social functioning, and/or financial problems. Results from a two-site, double-blind, placebo-controlled 13-week trial of fluvoxamine are presented. Subjects had problematic buying behavior that they could not control for the previous 6 months or longer and met DSM-IV criteria for impulse control disorder-not otherwise specified (ICD-NOS) and the University of Cincinnati criteria for compulsive buying. Assessments included clinician-rated scales - the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale modified for compulsive buying, the Clinical Global Impression Scale, the Global Assessment of Functioning, and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression - and patient self-reports using daily diaries, which measured episodes of compulsive buying. Forty-two subjects gave informed consent, with 37 subjects providing evaluable information and 23 completing the study. Current or past psychiatric comorbidity was present in 74% of subjects. Intent-to-treat and completer analyses failed to show a significant difference between treatments on any measures of outcome. A high placebo-response rate, possibly from the behavioral benefits of maintaining a daily diary, prevents any definitive statement on the efficacy of fluvoxamine in treating compulsive buying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-366
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical psychopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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