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Treatment of tricotillomania-induced hair loss
J Med Case Reports. 2011 Nov 30;5(1):557. [Epub ahead of print]
Bupropion for the treatment of fluoxetine non-responsive trichotillomania: a case report.
Rajshekhar B, Y SS.
Trichotillomania, classified as an impulse control disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is characterized by the recurrent pulling out of one’s hair, resulting in noticeable hair loss. The condition has a varied etiology. Specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors are considered the treatment of choice; however some patients fail to respond to this class of drugs. A few older reports suggest possible benefit from treatment with bupropion.
A 23-year-old Asian woman with fluoxetine non- responsive trichotillomania was treated with sustained release bupropion (up to 450mg/day) and cognitive behavior therapy. She demonstrated clinically significant improvement on the Clinical Global Impression - Improvement scale by week 13. The improvement persisted throughout the 12-month follow-up period.
The present case report may be of interest to psychiatrists and dermatologists. Apart from the serotonergic pathway, others, such as the mesolimbic pathway, also appear to be involved in the causation of trichotillomania. Bupropion may be considered as an alternative pharmacological treatment for patients who do not respond to specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors. However, this initial finding needs to be confirmed by well designed double-blind placebo controlled trials.
Edited for hair loss blog