Fluency Changes in Persons Who Stutter Following a Double Blind Trial of Clomipramine and Desipramine This study compared fluency changes in adult developmental stuttering speakers treated with two tricyclic antidepressants, clomipramine and desipramine. Clomipramine is primarily a serotonergic reuptake inhibitor, and desipramine, primarily a noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor. Sixteen subjects who stuttered participated in a single-blind placebo, double-blind active drug crossover study lasting 12 weeks. Speech ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1995
Fluency Changes in Persons Who Stutter Following a Double Blind Trial of Clomipramine and Desipramine
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sheila V. Stager
    Voice and Speech Section, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD
  • Christy L. Ludlow
    Voice and Speech Section, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD
  • Charles T. Gordon
    Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD
  • Monica Cotelingam
    Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD
  • Judith L. Rapoport
    Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD
  • Contact author: Sheila V. Stager, PhD, Voice and Speech Section, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, Building 10, Room 5D38, 10 Center Drive, MSC 1416, Bethesda, MD 20892-1416. E-mail: stager@vss.nidcd.nih.gov
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1995
Fluency Changes in Persons Who Stutter Following a Double Blind Trial of Clomipramine and Desipramine
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1995, Vol. 38, 516-525. doi:10.1044/jshr.3803.516
History: Received May 2, 1994 , Accepted October 24, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1995, Vol. 38, 516-525. doi:10.1044/jshr.3803.516
History: Received May 2, 1994; Accepted October 24, 1994

This study compared fluency changes in adult developmental stuttering speakers treated with two tricyclic antidepressants, clomipramine and desipramine. Clomipramine is primarily a serotonergic reuptake inhibitor, and desipramine, primarily a noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor. Sixteen subjects who stuttered participated in a single-blind placebo, double-blind active drug crossover study lasting 12 weeks. Speech rate and percent fluency did not significantly improve in placebo compared to baseline. Speech rate significantly increased while repeating, reading or constructing sentences, and during a telephone conversation, but no significant changes in percent fluency were found under clomipramine compared to placebo. Speech rate during a telephone conversation and percent fluency while speaking in front of an audience of four to seven listeners significantly increased under clomipramine compared to desipramine. No significant improvements in percent fluency or speech rate were found for any speaking task under desipramine compared to placebo. Twelve of 16 subjects reported improved fluency compared to baseline using clomipramine, whereas 6 reported improvement using desipramine. Because more evidence of improvement was found under clomipramine compared to desipramine, fluency improvement may be related to clomipramine’s greater selectivity for serotonergic reuptake inhibition.

Acknowledgments
Paul Smith, PhD, is gratefully acknowledged as a statistical consultant. We would also like to acknowledge Ben Watson, PhD, associate editor, Kenneth Pool, PhD, and two other anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions.
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