Ecopipam as a pharmacologic treatment of stuttering

BACKGROUND: Stuttering, also known as childhood-onset fluency disorder, is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 1% of the population and can greatly impact an individual’s social, occupational, and academic functioning. Prior research has shown dopamine D2 antagonists are effective in reducing the severity of stuttering symptoms, but these compounds can be associated with metabolic and movement disorder adverse effects. Ecopipam is an investigational medication that acts as a selective dopamine D1 receptor antagonist. This mechanism should reduce the likelihood of metabolic and movement disorder adverse effects of D2 antagonists.

METHOD: This open-label pilot study investigated ecopipam in the treatment of adults who stutter.

RESULTS: The results showed that a majority of participants demonstrated improvement in their stuttering. The medication was well tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS: These positive, preliminary findings suggest that a doubleblind, randomized controlled clinical trial to examine the efficacy of ecopipam in the treatment of stuttering is warranted.

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