OCD Medication and Side Effects

The medications used for OCD fall into four categories:

  • Anti-depressants that primarily affect serotonin (see section on Depression for list of medications and side effects)
  • Anti-psychotics that affect serotonin and dopamine (see table in section on bipolar disorder for list of the anti-psychotics. The most commonly used are Rispiridone and Seroquel)
  • Anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines)-see section on anxiety for list of anti-anxiety medications. Clonazepam is most commonly used.
  • Anti-consultants (Depakote)-see medication section on Bipolar Disorder for a thorough discussion of this medication

These medications all have short term and long-term side effects, and generally take 12 weeks to work. Partial gradual response is the rule, and this can be improved with appropriate therapy (exposure and response prevention). Frequently medication can be avoided, or the use of multiple medications can be eliminated with the Whole Psychiatry approach (digestion, nutrition, immunity, infection, inflammation, detoxification, hormonal balance, lifestyle, and meditation).

Supplements for OCD

Inositol has been shown in at least three well-designed studies to have anti-OCD effects. There is also new data that N-acetylcysteine may also have anti-OCD effects. Of course, cleaning up the diet, replenishing nutrients, clearing up infections and causes of inflammation (e.g., imbalances in gastrointestinal flora and enzymes, chronic sinusitis, chronic lyme disease, type II diabetes, mold exposure, food allergies), must be done at the same time.

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