Trial of Aripiprazole in Trichotillomania

07:04 EDT 28th March 2015 | BioPortfolio


No medication has been reliably shown to benefit those suffering from trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling). The current study proposes to evaluate the effectiveness of the medication aripiprazole for treatment of trichotillomania (TTM). Patients will take a gradually increased dose of the medication in an open-label study to see whether it relieves hair-pulling urges, decreases hair pulling behavior and is well tolerated.


The proposed study is an 8-week, open-label trial of aripiprazole. The study would enroll 10 patients diagnosed with TTM meeting DSM-IV criteria. Subjects would start at a dose of 5 mg, which can be reduced to 2 mg if initial dose is not tolerated. Dose will be increased by 5 mg every two weeks (or as tolerated, with a minimum increase of 2 mg) until a maximum target dose of 15 mg is reached at the beginning of week 5. Dosing would not be increased if a patient showed clinical improvement at a lower dose (defined as a 30% reduction in Massachusetts General Hairpulling Scale) or was intolerant of a further dose increase. Dose may not be increased after week 5; at any point it may be decreased because of intolerability. Modified dosing of aripiprazole will not automatically happen if a patient is taking fluoxetine or paroxetine, but awareness that increased aripiprazole levels are associated with P450 2D inhibition (and consequent tolerability of a given dose) may factor into clinical decisions to increase, maintain or decrease aripiprazole dosage.

Effectiveness: The primary measure of drug effect would be a change from baseline to endpoint in the Massachusetts General Hospital Hairpulling Scale (MGHHS) as well as the actual-pulling subscale (items 4,5,6; MGHHS-AP). Secondary measures would include the Clinical Global Impressions_Improvement scale (CGI-I), 17-item Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D) and the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A).

Assessments: Primary efficacy measures will be assessed at baseline and at the end of weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8, or early termination. Week 2 and 6 follow-ups may occur over the telephone. Safety and tolerability will be assessed at each two-week interval. Secondary end-points will be assessed at baseline and weeks 4 and 8, or early termination.

Type and Number of Experimental Subjects and Controls: This study would enroll 10 patients at Stanford in a single-site study. Inclusion and exclusion criteria are described separately. Children will not be included in this proposed study, because the Investigator does not have clinical competency in child psychiatry and childhood Trichotillomania may be a different disorder than the condition seen in adults.

Study Design

Allocation: Non-Randomized, Control: Uncontrolled, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment






Stanford University School of Medicine
United States




Stanford University

Results (where available)

View Results


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Compulsion to pull out one's hair.

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