Treatment options of delusional parasitosis: case series of 14 patients

COŞAR B., Taskinoglu K., Lepping P., Burhanoglu S., Yapici Eser H., Taner M. E., ...More

ANADOLU PSIKIYATRI DERGISI-ANATOLIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, vol.13, no.3, pp.239-242, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.239-242
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Delusional parasitosis (DP) is a rare psychiatric disorder in which patients develop the delusional belief that they are infested by parasites. Second generation antipsychotics and antidepressants can be used for its treatment. Traditionally the first generation antipsychotic pimozide has been used. The aim of this article is to investigate the efficacy of second generation antipsychotics compared to pimozide in a case series of patients with DP and to evaluate the validity of DP across cultures. Methods: We have evaluated fourteen patients with primary or secondary DP regarding their demographic and clinical variables as well as their responses to treatment including chlorpromazine equivalent doses. We saw fourteen patients for a six month follow up period. Results: Complete remission was achieved in all patients on pimozide therapy. The remission rates for those on olanzapine were 71%, for those on risperidone were 50%. The lowest doses in chlorpromazine equivalent doses to achieve full remission were used with olanzapine, followed by risperidone and pimozide. DP was found to be a valid diagnosis in the Turkish context. Discussion: Clinical and demographic data suggests that DP is a stable diagnostic category across different cultures. Good remission rates can be achieved with first and second generation antipsychotics when compliance can be established. (Anatolian Journal of Psychiatry 2012; 13:239-242)