2019 Jenike Young Investigator Award

Celecoxib as an adjunct to treatment as usual in childhood-onset OCD: A double-blind randomized controlled trial

Clara Westwell-Roper, MD, PhD

British Columbia Children's Hospital Research Institute (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

Award Amount: $33,038

PANDAS/PANS is associated with neuroinflammation that leads to sudden and acute OCD symptoms developing in children, seemingly overnight. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like celecoxib (brand name “Celebrex”) are increasingly recommended by physicians as a treatment for children with PANDAS/PANS, and there is early evidence that celecoxib could help adults with OCD.

In this study, Dr. Westwell-Roper and her team are conducting a randomized controlled trial of celecoxib as a treatment for childhood-onset OCD—the first study of its kind—to test whether it is a safe and effective treatment for this population. By recruiting a target of 80 young participants with OCD (aged 7-18), splitting them into two groups (with all receiving treatment-as-usual, one will receive 100 mg of celecoxib twice a day and one will receive a placebo), and looking at changes to OCD symptoms at six and 12 weeks, the team aims to understand whether celecoxib can help reduce symptoms patients with pediatric OCD. The team published a protocol for a phase II study.

Resulting Publication:

*Westwell-Roper, C., Best, J.T., Elbe, D., MacFadden, M., Baer, S., Tucker, L., Au, A., Naqqash, Z., Lin, B., Lu, C., & Stewart, S.E. (2022). Celecoxib versus placebo as an adjunct to treatment-as-usual in children and youth with obsessive-compulsive disorder: Protocol for a single-site randomised quadruple-blind phase II study. BMJ Open, 12:e054296. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-054296.