Topiramate in the treatment of trichotillomania: An open-label pilot study
There is a need for an effective medication for the treatment of trichotillomania (TTM), which is an impulse control disorder characterized by chronic hair-pulling. Topiramate has shown promising results in the treatment of impulse-control disorders. The present open-label pilot study investigated the efficacy and safety of topiramate in 14 adults with TTM. Patients received 16 weeks of flexible dose treatment (50-250 mg/day), followed by a flexible dose taper over 2-4 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the Massachusetts General Hospital Hair-Pulling Scale (HPS), whereas secondary outcome measures were the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) Scale, the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety and the Disability Profile. A repeated measures analysis of variance on the intent-to-treat sample was implemented to evaluate treatment response. The primary outcome measure (HPS) indicated that the severity of hair-pulling in adults with TTM who completed the 16-week study (n=9) decreased significantly from baseline to the treatment endpoint (F=5.05; P=0.0002). Although the CGI-Improvement scores suggested that hair-pulling was not significantly reduced, six of nine trial completers were classified as responders. None of the other measures showed significant differences compared to baseline. Five patients dropped out owing to adverse effects. These results suggest that topiramate may be useful in the treatment of TTM. Future studies should investigate the efficacy of topiramate in an appropriately powered randomized placebo-controlled trial. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.