Common antidepressant drugs like Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro can be effective treatment options for obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD). Patients who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are twice as likely to get relief from their symptoms as those on placebo. Still, this is modest relief and would likely be used in combination with other therapies.
“Although SSRIs should be considered potentially effective treatments for OCD patients, treatment decisions need to take account of the potential adverse effects of these drugs,” which include nausea, insomnia and sexual dysfunction, said Dr Ghulam Mustafa Soomro, lead review author and honorary research fellow at St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London.
Most people with OCD start off with therapy that teaches them to confront, tolerate and gradually wean themselves from the obsessive and compulsive behaviors. “This is the primary kind of therapy used for OCD. It teaches patients to pay attention to their internal experiences and tolerate scary thoughts without having to act on them,” said Sanjaya Saxena, MD, director f the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders program at the University of Calivornia, San Diego.
“Unfortunately, about 25% of patients offered this form of treatment refuse it,” Soomro said, adding that SSRIs “may offer help to some of these patients.” Lexpro worked equal to other SSRIs.
Lexpro may relieve the symptoms of OCD by increasing serotonin. It can take up to six weeks to see results and one should be aware of associated side effects. It is also indicated for social anxiety disorders and panic disorder.
Source: Health Behavior News Service, Medical News Today