Haloperidol augmentation of fluvoxamine in skin picking disorder: a case report
1 Department of Medical and Surgery Specialties, Psychiatry Unit of the University Hospital ‘Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele’ of Catania (Sicily), Via S. Sofia 78, Catania, 95100, Italy
2 Department of Neuroscience of the University Hospital ‘Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele’ of Catania (Sicily), Via S. Sofia 78, Catania, 95100, Italy
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2012, 6:219 doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-219Published: 26 July 2012
Compulsive skin picking, being part of the broader category of impulse control disorders, is considered a residual diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. It is characterized by excessive scratching or picking of normal skin, or skin with minor surface irregularities, and occurs in 2% of patients attending dermatology clinics. Despite the clinical relevance of this disorder, no clear guidelines are available yet; clinical management is, therefore, compromised and the day-to-day clinical practice is burdened by difficulties. Studies on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and anti-epileptic drugs have provided limited results. The association between anti-depressants and anti-epileptics has been found to be beneficial in some impulse control disorders, but in skin picking no previous studies have been conducted on this pharmacological approach. There are very few reports on the efficacy of anti-psychotics in skin picking.
The therapeutic path described in this case report produced good results for a 59-year-old Caucasian woman. The first therapeutic approach, with fluvoxamine and oxcarbazepine was partially effective; then, the suspension of oxcarbazepine and haloperidol augmentation of fluvoxamine were adopted. After 10 weeks, a significant improvement of the disease was observed: the clinical picture and the associated symptoms were nearly solved.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first article reporting the association of fluvoxamine and haloperidol in skin picking disorder. It might be useful to perform further research regarding the treatment of skin picking disorder: in clinical practice, several variables might limit the choice of certain drugs. Therefore, it would be useful for the clinician to be aware of other therapeutic options.