CNS Drugs

, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 657–669 | Cite as


Epidemiology and Management
  • Brendan D. KellyEmail author
Therapy In Practice


Erotomania is generally classified as a delusional disorder in contemporary classification systems (DSM-IV and ICD-10). The incidence of erotomania is not known, but that of delusional disorder in general has been reported as approximately 15 cases per 100 000 of the population per year, with a female: male ratio of 3: 1. Both primary and secondary types of erotomania have been identified, the latter being associated with evidence of an aetiologically significant organic or psychiatric condition. The aetiology of primary erotomania is not yet fully understood, but neuroimaging, genetic studies and findings from evolutionary psychopathology hold considerable promise for a deeper and broader understanding of this condition.

The initial management of secondary erotomania focuses on treating the underlying organic or psychiatric illness. The management of primary and secondary erotomania involves a combination of pharmacological treatments, psychosocial interventions and risk management strategies. In the past, the antipsychotic medication pimozide was commonly used, at least in certain countries (such as the US and Canada), despite a paucity of systematic studies of its use in this disorder. In recent years, there have been reports of positive therapeutic outcomes with atypical antipsychotics (risperidone, clozapine), which, as a result of their improved tolerability over older agents such as pimozide, will hopefully enhance patient acceptability and, thereby, improve clinical outcome. Despite this advance, there is still a strong need for controlled clinical trials of therapeutic strategies for primary erotomania and related syndromes.


Schizophrenia Clozapine Risperidone Antipsychotic Medication Clomipramine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The views expressed are those of the author. The author is very grateful for the detailed, constructive comments of the five peer reviewers. No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this review. The author has no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Adult PsychiatryUniversity College Dublin, Mater Misericordiae University HospitalDublin 7Ireland

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