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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 53 (2011) 3, 163 - 173

Review article

Antipsychotic agents in the treatment of somatoform disorders; a review

L. Decoutere, F. Van Den Eede, G. Moorkens, B.G.C. Sabbe

summary
background Antipsychotics are regularly prescribed in the treatment of somatoform disorders. Up till now there has not been any systematic review of the literature on this subject.
aim To provide a review of the literature on the use of antipsychotic agents in patients with somatoform disorders.
method Publications listed in PubMed database were retrieved and studied. The search terms used were the somatoform disorders and functional disorders in combination with ‘antipsychotic agent’ and all individual antipsychotics.
results L-sulpiride was effective in the treatment of functional dyspepsia in four randomised,controlled trials (rcts). There is only limited evidence for the effectiveness of flupentixolmelitracen in the treatment of functional dyspepsia and of amisulprid in the treatment of glossodynia. The other studies report the ineffectiveness of antipsychotics (in the treatment of body dysmorphic disorder) or they are methodologically poor studies which do suggest a slight positive effect (in fibromyalgia and in hypochondria).
conclusion Recommendations about the effectiveness of antipsychotics in the treatment of somatoform disorders need to be differentiated according to the type of subcategory. There have been very few rcts and typical antipsychotics have been studied more than atypical antipsychotics. Antipsychotics have proved effective in the treatment of functional dyspepsia.

keywords antipsychotic agents, somatoform disorders, functional disorders, treatment