Hypochondriasis

Hypochondriasis is a frequent presenting symptom of other primary psychiatric disorders, such as panic disorder or depression, and in these cases is referred to as secondary hypochondriasis. Treatment of the underlying disorder frequently leads to resolution of the hypochondriacal symptoms. More recently, data have suggested that primary hypochondriasis may also be responsive to pharmacological interventions. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of amitrip-tyline, clomipramine, fluvoxamine, fluoxetine, imip-ramine, nefazodone, paroxetine, and citalopram for adults with hypochondriasis (Fallon 2004; Fallon et al. 1996; Kellner et al. 1986; Kjernisted et al. 2002; Oosterbaan et al. 2001; Wesner and Noyes 1992). These studies have shown efficacy in patients both with and without diagnosed psychiatric comorbidity, such as depression. Data from these studies should be interpreted with some caution, because somatiza-tion symptoms frequently fluctuate in severity independent of treatment.

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