Fluoxetine Treatment of Severe Self-Injury in Young Adults with Mental Retardation

ROBERT W. RICKETTS, AMANDA B. GOZA, CYNTHIA R. ELLIS, YADHU N. SINGH, NIRBHAY N. SINGH, JOHN C. COOKE

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39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dysfunction of the serotonergic system has been implicated in the development and maintenance of self-injury in some persons with mental retardation. Several preliminary reports have suggested that fluoxetine, a drug that blocks the reuptake of serotonin, may decrease self-injury in these individuals. Of the 44 cases of self-injury treated with fluoxetine and previously reported in the literature, 42 demonstrated a beneficial response to the drug. We report four additional cases of adults with mental retardation whose self-injury was treated with fluoxetine. Each of these individuals benefited from fluoxetine to some extent, with average decreases in self-injury ranging from 20% to 88% when compared with baseline levels. These findings, combined with those from previously published case studies, emphasize the need for well-controlled studies to more adequately assess the effects of fluoxetine on self-injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)865-869
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1993

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Keywords

  • fluoxetine
  • mental retardation
  • self-injury
  • serotonergic dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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