Grant, Jon E2; Odlaug, Brian Lawrence4; Schreiber, Liana R N3; Kim, Suck Won3
1 Section of Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 From the *Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; †Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; and ‡Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN.3 unknown4 Section of Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study
Trichotillomania (TTM) is characterized by repetitive hair pulling resulting in hair loss. Data on the pharmacological treatment of TTM are limited. This study examined the opioid antagonist, naltrexone, in adults with TTM who had urges to pull their hair. Fifty-one individuals with TTM were randomized to naltrexone or placebo in an 8-week, double-blind trial. Subjects were assessed with measures of TTM severity and selected cognitive tasks. Naltrexone failed to demonstrate significantly greater reductions in hair pulling compared to placebo. Cognitive flexibility, however, significantly improved with naltrexone (P = 0.026). Subjects taking naltrexone with a family history of addiction showed a greater numerical reduction in the urges to pull, although it was not statistically significant. Future studies will have to examine whether pharmacological modulation of the opiate system may provide promise in controlling pulling behavior in a subgroup of individuals with TTM.
Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2014, Vol 34, Issue 1, p. 134-8