Aripiprazole Augmentation in Patients with Resistant Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: a Pilot Study

Roberto Delle Chiaie*, Pierluigi Scarciglia, Massimo Pasquini, Maria Caredda, Massimo Biondi
Department of Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, SAPIENZA University of Rome, Viale dell’Università, 30 - 00185 - Rome, Italy

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 756
Abstract HTML Views: 690
PDF Downloads: 440
Total Views/Downloads: 1886
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 483
Abstract HTML Views: 470
PDF Downloads: 341
Total Views/Downloads: 1294

Creative Commons License
© Delle Chiaie et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the SAPIENZA University of Rome Viale dell’Università, 30 00185-Roma, Italy; Tel: +390639742364; Fax: +390639038466; E-mail:



Antipsychotic augmentation is an effective treatment intervention for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) patients resistant to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) agents. This pilot study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness and tolerability of Aripiprazole for the augmentation of standard treatments in patients with resistant OCD.


Twenty patients diagnosed with OCD according to DSM-IV TR criteria and having a history of resistance to standard pharmacological treatment were included in the study. Aripiprazole was added to ongoing SSRI or clomipramine treatment with a starting dose of 5 mg/day and titrated up to a maximum of 20 mg/day (mean dose 12.62 mg ± 4.25). Efficacy was assessed with the Yale-Brown obsessive compulsive scale (Y-BOCS) and the Clinical Global Improvement-severity scale (CGI-S) at baseline and at week 12 of Aripiprazole augmentation. Side effects were monitored by the Udvalg for Kliniske Undersogelser (UKU) side effect rating scale.


All 20 subjects enrolled in our study completed the full 12-week course of treatment. A significant improvement over the 12-week study period was observed (paired t-test for mean Y-BOCS total score at week 12 as compared with baseline – all patients: t = 13.146, d.f. = 19, p= 0.0001). Aripiprazole was generally well tolerated and no changes were observed in vital signs. The most commonly observed side effects after the introduction of the augmenting agent included: akathysia, nausea/vomiting, hyperkinesia, tension/inner unrest, tremors, asthenia/lassitude/increased fatiguability.


Although results of this pilot study are preliminary and require confirmation in randomized controlled trials, our experience suggested that Aripiprazole is effective and well-tolerated as an augmenting agent in patients with treatment resistant OCD.

Keywords: Aripiprazole, augmentation, treatment resistant OCD.