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Published: June 29, 2017
Eric Mason

Treatment of Features of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Using Carbamazepine

In “Treatment of Features of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Using Carbamazepine,” Greve and Adams discussed the use of carbamazepine, an anti-consultant, for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). In their article, Greve and Adams describe a trial study using only one participant. Therefore, no definite conclusions may be drawn from this study, but it does indicate some promise for the pharmacological treatment of OCPD.


The participant in the study presented with many symptoms of OCPD. He was hardworking, rigid, easily irritated, verbally aggressive, and hostile. He often lost his temper at work and would “fly off the handle” when things were not done how he would like. He was scornful of others at his job, especially those lower than him on the totem pole. The participant also displayed some obsessive-compulsive symptoms, such as rumination, counting, racing thoughts, hand washing, and other repetitive behaviors. In addition, the participant was a recovering alcoholic (12 years of chronic alcohol abuse, but abstinent during the last 6 months). The participant indicated a family history of vascular disease.


One month after being prescribed carbamazepine, the participant reported that he was calmer and able to handle stress more easily at his job (stating that he felt more in control of his anger and less likely to “fly off the handle”). However, the participant developed a skin rash, which was attributed to the drug. He, therefore, discontinued use of the drug. When the participant was seen again after 8 months, he stated that many of his OCPD symptoms returned when discontinued the use of carbamazepine. The authors point out that although more research is needed, their study may indicate that carbamazepine is an effective treatment option for OCPD.


Greve and Adams note that research on treatment for personality disorders is on the decline. Their findings suggest a continued need for research regarding the treatment of OCPD, as well as other personality disorders, in general.


Greve, K.W., & Adams, D. (2002). Treatment of features of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder using carbamazepine. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 56, 207-208.

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