[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.161.216.242. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
September 1991

A Double-blind Comparison of Clomipramine and Desipramine Treatment of Severe Onychophagia (Nail Biting)

Author Affiliations

From the National Institute of Mental Health, Child Psychiatry Branch, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1991;48(9):821-827. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1991.01810330045007
Abstract

• Twenty-five adult subjects with severe morbid onychophagia (nail biting) and no history of obsessive-compulsive disorder were enrolled in a 10-week double-blind crossover trial of clomipramine hydrochloride and desipramine hydrochloride. For the 14 subjects who completed the study, clomipramine hydrochloride (mean±SD dose, 120±48 mg/d) was superior to desipramine hydrochloride (mean± SD dose, 135±53 mg/d) in decreasing nail biting as measured by a repeated-measures analysis of variance on the Nail Biting Severity, Naiibiting Impairment, and Clinical Progress scales. The high dropout rate at every stage of the study was in sharp contrast to that seen with psychiatric populations. From a neuroethologic perspective, similar biologic systems are hypothesized to mediate a spectrum of grooming behaviors, including onychophagia, trichotillomania, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

×