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Am Fam Physician. 1999;59(1):49

to the editor: I am writing to bring to the attention of your readers an erroneous statement published in the article “Recognition and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.”1 Information in Table 4 states that sertraline is “not FDA-labeled for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder.” In fact, sertraline was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 25, 1996, for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The efficacy of sertraline in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder was initially demonstrated in three multicenter, placebo-controlled studies of adult outpatients.24 In all three of these studies, patients had moderate to severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (according to criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM-III or DSM-III-R]), with mean baseline ratings on the Yale Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale ranging from 23 to 25.

Thus, the incorrect statement that sertraline is not indicated for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder should be deleted from Table 4, as sertraline has been recognized by the FDA since 1996 as an effective and safe treatment for obsessions and compulsions in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, deputy editor.

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