Aripiprazole as a Viable Alternative for Treating Delusions of Parasitosis

December 2010 | Volume 9 | Issue 12 | Case Reports | 1531 | Copyright © December 2010

Barry Ladizinski BS, Kristine L. Busse BS, Tina Bhutani MD, John Y. M. Koo MD

Delusions of parasitosis (DOP) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by the fixed false belief that one is infested with parasites or other organisms. Historically, pimozide, a first-generation antipsychotic, has been the treatment of choice for DOP, although there is risk for serious adverse effects including extrapyramidal symptoms, QTc prolongation and tardive dyskinesia. Recently, there have been several reports describing the effectiveness of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs), but these agents have their own unique adverse effects, specifically metabolic changes with olanzapine, sedation with quetiapine and hyperprolactinemia with risperidone. Aripiprazole is a novel, third-generation antipsychotic with comparable efficacy to SGAs, but a more favorable side effect profile. Successful treatment of DOP with aripiprazole has recently been described in the psychiatric and dermatologic literature. The authors present another report to support the use of aripiprazole as an efficacious and safe alternative for treating DOP.