Meds used for ocd
International OCD Foundation | Medications for OCDPLEASE NOTE: The International OCD Foundation has no conflicts of interest or financial relationships related to the content of this web page.
The following information refers to OCD medications in adults. For information on medication in children, click here.
- Medication is an effective treatment for OCD.
- About 7 out of 10 people with OCD will benefit from either medication or Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). For the people who benefit from medication, they usually see their OCD symptoms reduced by 40-60%.
- For medications to work, they must be taken regularly and as directed by their doctor. About half of OCD patients stop taking their medication due to side effects or for other reasons. If you experience side effects, you should bring this up with your doctor so they can help you address them. They may be able to change your dose or find a different type of SRI that your system better tolerates.
What kinds of medications may help OCD?
The types of medication that research has shown to be most effective for OCD are a type of drug called a Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SRI), which are traditionally used as an antidepressants, but also help to address OCD symptoms. (Note: Depression can sometimes result from OCD, and doctors can treat both the OCD and depression with the same medication.)
Do all antidepressants help OCD symptoms?
No! Some commonly used antidepressants have almost no effect whatsoever on OCD symptoms. Drugs, such as imipramine (Tofranil®) or amitriptyline (Elavil®), that are good antidepressants, rarely improve OCD symptoms.
Which Medications Help OCD?
The following antidepressants have been found to work well for OCD in research studies:
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
Have These Drugs Been Tested?
Anafranil has been around the longest and is the best-studied OCD medication. There is growing evidence that the other drugs are as effective. In addition to these carefully studied drugs, there are hundreds of case reports of other drugs being helpful. For example, duloxetine (Cymbalta®) has been reported to help OCD patients who have not responded to these other medications.
What Are the Usual Doses for These Drugs?
High doses are often needed for these drugs to work in most people.* Studies suggest that the following doses may be needed:
| || |
| || |
| || |
| || |
Which Drug Should Someone Try First?
Whenever any of the above drugs have been studied head to head, there seems to be no significant difference in how well they work. However, for any given patient, one drug may be very effective, and the others may not. The only way to tell which drug will be the most helpful with the least side effects is to try each drug for about 3 months. Remember! It is important not to give up after failing one or two drugs. Drugs work very differently for each person.
How Do These Medications Work?
It remains unclear as to how these particular drugs help OCD. The good news is that after decades of research, we know how to treat patients, even though we do not know exactly why our treatments work.
We do know that each of these medications affect a chemical in the brain called serotonin. Serotonin is used by the brain as a messenger. If your brain does not have enough serotonin, then your the nerves in your brain might not be communicating right. Adding these medications to your body can help boost your serotonin and get your brain back on track.Are There Side Effects?
- Yes. Most patients will experience one or more side effects from all of the medications listed above.
- The patient and doctor must weigh the benefits of the drug against the side effects.
- It is important for the patient to be open about problems that may be caused by the medication. Sometimes an adjustment in dose or a switch in the time of day it is taken is all that is needed.
Who Should Not Take These Medications?
- Women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding should weigh the decision to take these drugs with their doctor. If severe OCD cannot be controlled any other way, research has indicated that these medications seem to be safe. Many pregnant women have taken them without difficulty. Some OCD patients choose to use exposure and response prevention (ERP) to minimize medication use during the first or last trimester of pregnancy. Click here to read more about the benefits and risks of using SRIs during pregancy and/or while breastfeeding.
- Very elderly patients should avoid Anafranil as the first drug tried, since it has side effects that can interfere with thinking and can cause or worsen confusion.
- Patients with heart problems should use special caution if taking Anafranil.
What if I cannot take even the smallest pill size of the medication?
Some patients are sensitive to these medications and can’t stand the effects that come with even the lowest dose. However, patients can start at very low doses (for example, 1-2 mg per day) and very slowly increase the dose. For most people, they will eventually be able to handle the medication at its normal dose.
Ask your doctor if you can try a lower dose by breaking pills in half or using a liquid form of medication to slowly increase your doses.
ALWAYS be sure to talk to your doctor before making any changes to the way you take your medications!
The following is one example as told by Dr. Michael Jenike:
“One woman, who was started on Prozac 20 mg/day, complained of bothersome side effects such as increased anxiety, shakiness, and terrible insomnia. She felt it made her OCD worse. She had horrible side effects from even 12.5 mg of Anafranil, and later with low dosages of Paxil and Zoloft. She requested to start 1-2 mg/day of liquid Prozac, because she heard it was good from other patients that she met from a computer bulletin board. She felt no side effects, and over a period of a few weeks, she got up to 20 mg/day without the previous side effects that she had felt on this dose in the past. Under the supervision of her doctor, she continued to increase the Prozac to 60 mg/day over a couple more months. Her OCD gradually improved quite dramatically.”
Should I Take These Medications Only When I Am Feeling Stressed?
No. This is a common mistake. These medications are meant to be taken every day to keep your serotonin at a constant level. They are not taken like typical anti-anxiety meds, when you feel upset or anxious. It is best not to miss doses if possible. However, if you do miss a dose here or there, it is unlikely that any bad effect on OCD will occur. In fact, sometimes your doctor might tell you to skip doses to help manage troublesome side effects, like sexual problems.
What Kind of Doctor Should I Look For to Prescribe These Medications?
Although any licensed physician can legally prescribe these drugs, it is probably best to deal directly with a board-certified psychiatrist who understands OCD. It is important to find a psychiatrist who has special knowledge about the use of drugs to treat mental health disorders. Click here to find a psychiatrist in your area. (Look for therapists with an MD or DO after their name.)
What If I am Afraid to Take My Medication Because I Have an Obsessional Fear About Drugs?
Usually with help from a doctor that you trust, your fears can be overcome. If you have fears about taking medication, ERP can be started first and part of the therapy can focus on these fears of medications.
How Long Does it Take for These Medications to Work?
It is important not to give up on a medication until you have been taking it as prescribed for 10 to 12 weeks. Many patients feel no positive effects for the first few weeks of treatment but then improve greatly.
Will I Have to Take Medications Forever?
No one knows how long patients should take these medications once they have been effective. Some patients are able to stop their medications after a 6 to 12-month treatment period. It does appear that over half of OCD patients (and maybe many more) will need to be on at least a low dose of medication for years, perhaps even for life. It seems likely that the risk of relapse is lower if patients learn to use behavior therapy techniques while they are doing well on medications. And if medication is tapered slowly (even over several months), the ERP treatment may enable patients to control any symptoms that return when they stop taking the medication.
After medications are stopped, symptoms do not return immediately; they may start to return within a few weeks to a few months. If OCD symptoms return after a medication is stopped, most patients will have a good response if the medication is restarted.
Can I Drink Alcohol While on These Medications?
Many patients drink alcohol while on these medications and handle it well, but be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe. It is important to keep in mind that alcohol may have a greater effect on individuals who are taking these medications; one drink could affect an individual as if it were two drinks. Also, alcohol may limit some of the medications’ benefits, so it may be wise to try not to drink alcohol during the first couple of months after starting any new medication.
Do I Need Other Treatments Too?
Most psychiatrists and therapists believe that combining a type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), specifically Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), and medication is the most effective approach.
What if I Can’t Afford My Medication?
Drug companies give doctors free samples of some medications. Doctors give these samples to patients who cannot afford the cost of the medications.
Most drug companies also have programs that help patients get these and other medications free or at a reduced cost. For more information, visit: www.pparx.org or call 1-888-477-2669.
By Michael Jenike, MD
Chair, International OCD Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board
Harvard Medical School
* The FDA has issued some warnings on the use of this medication in higher doses. Please check with your physician.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) - Diagnosis and treatment
Steps to help diagnose obsessive-compulsive disorder may include:
- Psychological evaluation. This includes discussing your thoughts, feelings, symptoms and behavior patterns to determine if you have obsessions or compulsive behaviors that interfere with your quality of life. With your permission, this may include talking to your family or friends.
- Diagnostic criteria for OCD. Your doctor may use criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
- Physical exam. This may be done to help rule out other problems that could be causing your symptoms and to check for any related complications.
It's sometimes difficult to diagnose OCD because symptoms can be similar to those of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia or other mental health disorders. And it's possible to have both OCD and another mental health disorder. Work with your doctor so that you can get the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Care at Mayo Clinic
Our caring team of Mayo Clinic experts can help you with your Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)-related health concerns Start Here
Obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment may not result in a cure, but it can help bring symptoms under control so that they don't rule your daily life. Depending on the severity of OCD, some people may need long-term, ongoing or more intensive treatment.
The two main treatments for OCD are psychotherapy and medications. Often, treatment is most effective with a combination of these.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of psychotherapy, is effective for many people with OCD. Exposure and response prevention (ERP), a component of CBT therapy, involves gradually exposing you to a feared object or obsession, such as dirt, and having you learn ways to resist the urge to do your compulsive rituals. ERP takes effort and practice, but you may enjoy a better quality of life once you learn to manage your obsessions and compulsions.
Certain psychiatric medications can help control the obsessions and compulsions of OCD. Most commonly, antidepressants are tried first.
Antidepressants approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat OCD include:
- Clomipramine (Anafranil) for adults and children 10 years and older
- Fluoxetine (Prozac) for adults and children 7 years and older
- Fluvoxamine for adults and children 8 years and older
- Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva) for adults only
- Sertraline (Zoloft) for adults and children 6 years and older
However, your doctor may prescribe other antidepressants and psychiatric medications.
Medications: What to consider
Here are some issues to discuss with your doctor about medications for OCD:
- Choosing a medication. In general, the goal is to effectively control symptoms at the lowest possible dosage. It's not unusual to try several drugs before finding one that works well. Your doctor might recommend more than one medication to effectively manage your symptoms. It can take weeks to months after starting a medication to notice an improvement in symptoms.
- Side effects. All psychiatric medications have potential side effects. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects and about any health monitoring needed while taking psychiatric drugs. And let your doctor know if you experience troubling side effects.
- Suicide risk. Most antidepressants are generally safe, but the FDA requires that all antidepressants carry black box warnings, the strictest warnings for prescriptions. In some cases, children, teenagers and young adults under 25 may have an increase in suicidal thoughts or behavior when taking antidepressants, especially in the first few weeks after starting or when the dose is changed. If suicidal thoughts occur, immediately contact your doctor or get emergency help. Keep in mind that antidepressants are more likely to reduce suicide risk in the long run by improving mood.
- Interactions with other substances. When taking an antidepressant, tell your doctor about any other prescription or over-the-counter medications, herbs or other supplements you take. Some antidepressants can make some other medications less effective and cause dangerous reactions when combined with certain medications or herbal supplements.
- Stopping antidepressants. Antidepressants aren't considered addictive, but sometimes physical dependence (which is different from addiction) can occur. So stopping treatment abruptly or missing several doses can cause withdrawal-like symptoms, sometimes called discontinuation syndrome. Don't stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor, even if you're feeling better — you may have a relapse of OCD symptoms. Work with your doctor to gradually and safely decrease your dose.
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of using specific medications.
Sometimes, psychotherapy and medications aren't effective enough to control OCD symptoms. In treatment-resistant cases, other options may be offered:
- Intensive outpatient and residential treatment programs. Comprehensive treatment programs that emphasize ERP therapy principles may be helpful for people with OCD who struggle with being able to function because of the severity of their symptoms. These programs typically last several weeks.
- Deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS is approved by the FDA to treat OCD in adults age 18 years and older who don't respond to traditional treatment approaches. DBS involves implanting electrodes within certain areas of your brain. These electrodes produce electrical impulses that may help regulate abnormal impulses.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The FDA approved a specific device (BrainsWay Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) to treat OCD in adults ages 22 to 68 years, when traditional treatment approaches have not been effective. TMS is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of OCD. During a TMS session, an electromagnetic coil is placed against your scalp near your forehead. The electromagnet delivers a magnetic pulse that stimulates nerve cells in your brain.
Talk with your doctor to make sure you understand all the pros and cons and possible health risks of DBS and TMS if you're considering one of these procedures.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) care at Mayo Clinic
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Deep brain stimulation
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic
From Mayo Clinic to your inbox
Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.
To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.
Lifestyle and home remedies
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic condition, which means it may always be part of your life. While OCD warrants treatment by a professional, you can do some things for yourself to build on your treatment plan:
- Practice what you learn. Work with your mental health professional to identify techniques and skills that help manage symptoms, and practice these regularly.
- Take your medications as directed. Even if you're feeling well, resist any temptation to skip your medications. If you stop, OCD symptoms are likely to return.
- Pay attention to warning signs. You and your doctor may have identified issues that can trigger your OCD symptoms. Make a plan so that you know what to do if symptoms return. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel.
- Check first before taking other medications. Contact the doctor who's treating you for OCD before you take medications prescribed by another doctor or before taking any over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal remedies or other supplements to avoid possible interactions.
Coping and support
Coping with obsessive-compulsive disorder can be challenging. Medications can have unwanted side effects, and you may feel embarrassed or angry about having a condition that requires long-term treatment. Here are some ways to help cope with OCD:
- Learn about OCD. Learning about your condition can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan.
- Stay focused on your goals. Keep your recovery goals in mind and remember that recovery from OCD is an ongoing process.
- Join a support group. Reaching out to others facing similar challenges can provide you with support and help you cope with challenges.
- Find healthy outlets. Explore healthy ways to channel your energy, such as hobbies and recreational activities. Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet and get adequate sleep.
- Learn relaxation and stress management. In addition to professional treatment, stress management techniques such as meditation, visualization, muscle relaxation, massage, deep breathing, yoga or tai chi may help ease stress and anxiety.
- Stick with your regular activities. Try not to avoid meaningful activities. Go to work or school as you usually would. Spend time with family and friends. Don't let OCD get in the way of your life.
Preparing for your appointment
You may start by seeing your primary doctor. Because obsessive-compulsive disorder often requires specialized care, you may be referred to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, for evaluation and treatment.
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment, think about your needs and goals for treatment. Make a list of:
- Any symptoms you've noticed, including the types of obsessions and compulsions youꞌve experienced and things that you may be avoiding because of your distress
- Key personal information, including any major stresses, recent life changes and family members with similar symptoms
- All medications, vitamins, herbal remedies or other supplements, as well as the dosages
- Questions to ask your doctor or therapist
Questions to ask might include:
- Do you think I have OCD?
- How do you treat OCD?
- How can treatment help me?
- Are there medications that might help?
- Will exposure and response prevention therapy help?
- How long will treatment take?
- What can I do to help myself?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have?
- Can you recommend any websites?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
- Do certain thoughts go through your mind over and over despite your attempts to ignore them?
- Do you have to have things arranged in a certain way?
- Do you have to wash your hands, count things or check things over and over?
- When did your symptoms start?
- Have symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- What, if anything, seems to improve the symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen the symptoms?
- How do the symptoms affect your daily life? Do you avoid anything because of your symptoms?
- In a typical day, how much time do you spend on obsessive thoughts and compulsive behavior?
- Have any of your relatives had a mental health disorder?
- Have you experienced any trauma or major stress?
Your doctor or mental health professional will ask additional questions based on your responses, symptoms and needs. Preparing and anticipating questions will help you make the most of your appointment time.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
A prominent role among mental illnesses is played by syndromes (complexes of symptoms), united in the group of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which received its name from the Latin terms obsessio and compulsio.
Obsession (lat. obsessio - taxation, siege, blockade).
Compulsions (lat. compello - I force). 1. Obsessive drives, a kind of obsessive phenomena (obsessions). Characterized by irresistible attraction that arises contrary to the mind, will, feelings. Often they are unacceptable to the patient, contrary to his moral and ethical properties. Unlike impulsive drives, compulsions are not realized. These drives are recognized by the patient as wrong and painfully experienced by them, especially since their very appearance, due to its incomprehensibility, often gives rise to a feeling of fear in the patient 2. The term compulsions is also used in a broader sense to refer to any obsessions in the motor sphere, including obsessive rituals.
In domestic psychiatry, obsessive states were understood as psychopathological phenomena, characterized by the fact that phenomena of a certain content repeatedly appear in the mind of the patient, accompanied by a painful feeling of coercion [Zinoviev PM, 193I]. For N.s. characteristic involuntary, even against the will, the emergence of obsessions with clear consciousness. Although the obsessions are alien, extraneous in relation to the patient's psyche, the patient is not able to get rid of them. They are closely related to the emotional sphere, accompanied by depressive reactions, anxiety. Being symptomatic, according to S.L. Sukhanov , "parasitic", they do not affect the course of intellectual activity in general, remain alien to thinking, do not lead to a decrease in its level, although they worsen the efficiency and productivity of the patient's mental activity. Throughout the course of the disease, a critical attitude is maintained towards obsessions. N.s. conditionally divided into obsessions in the intellectual-affective (phobia) and motor (compulsions) spheres, but most often several of their types are combined in the structure of the disease of obsessions. The isolation of obsessions that are abstract, affectively indifferent, indifferent in their content, for example, arrhythmomania, is rarely justified; An analysis of the psychogenesis of a neurosis often makes it possible to see a pronounced affective (depressive) background at the basis of the obsessive account. Along with elementary obsessions, the connection of which with psychogeny is obvious, there are “cryptogenic” ones, when the cause of painful experiences is hidden [Svyadoshch L.M., 1959]. N.s. are observed mainly in individuals with a psychasthenic character. This is where apprehensions are especially characteristic. In addition, N.S. occur within the framework of neurosis-like states with sluggish schizophrenia, endogenous depressions, epilepsy, the consequences of a traumatic brain injury, somatic diseases, mainly hypochondria-phobic or nosophobic syndrome. Some researchers distinguish the so-called. "Neurosis of obsessive states", which is characterized by the predominance of obsessive states in the clinical picture - memories that reproduce a psychogenic traumatic situation, thoughts, fears, actions. In genesis play a role: mental trauma; conditioned reflex stimuli that have become pathogenic due to their coincidence with others that previously caused a feeling of fear; situations that have become psychogenic due to the confrontation of opposing tendencies [Svyadoshch A.M., 1982]. It should be noted that these same authors emphasize that N.s.c. occurs with various character traits, but most often in psychasthenic personalities.
Currently, almost all obsessive-compulsive disorders are united in the International Classification of Diseases under the concept of "obsessive-compulsive disorder".
OKR concepts have undergone a fundamental reassessment over the past 15 years. During this time, the clinical and epidemiological significance of OCD has been completely revised. If it was previously thought that this is a rare condition observed in a small number of people, now it is known that OCD is common and causes a high percentage of morbidity, which requires the urgent attention of psychiatrists around the world. Parallel to this, our understanding of the etiology of OCD has broadened: the vaguely formulated psychoanalytic definition of the past two decades has been replaced by a neurochemical paradigm that explores the neurotransmitter disorders that underlie OCD. And most importantly, pharmacological interventions specifically targeting serotonergic neurotransmission have revolutionized the prospects for recovery for millions of OCD patients worldwide.
The discovery that intense serotonin reuptake inhibition (SSRI) was the key to effective treatment for OCD was the first step in a revolution and spurred clinical research that showed the efficacy of such selective inhibitors.
As described in ICD-10, the main features of OCD are repetitive intrusive (obsessive) thoughts and compulsive actions (rituals).
In a broad sense, the core of OCD is the syndrome of obsession, which is a condition with a predominance in the clinical picture of feelings, thoughts, fears, memories that arise in addition to the desire of patients, but with awareness of their pain and a critical attitude towards them. Despite the understanding of the unnaturalness, illogicality of obsessions and states, patients are powerless in their attempts to overcome them. Obsessional impulses or ideas are recognized as alien to the personality, but as if coming from within. Obsessions can be the performance of rituals designed to alleviate anxiety, such as washing hands to combat "pollution" and to prevent "infection". Attempts to drive away unwelcome thoughts or urges can lead to severe internal struggle, accompanied by intense anxiety.
Obsessions in the ICD-10 are included in the group of neurotic disorders.
The prevalence of OCD in the population is quite high. According to some data, it is determined by an indicator of 1. 5% (meaning "fresh" cases of diseases) or 2-3%, if episodes of exacerbations observed throughout life are taken into account. Those suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder make up 1% of all patients receiving treatment in psychiatric institutions. It is believed that men and women are affected approximately equally.
The problem of obsessive-compulsive disorders attracted the attention of clinicians already at the beginning of the 17th century. They were first described by Platter in 1617. In 1621 E. Barton described an obsessive fear of death. Mentions of obsessions are found in the writings of F. Pinel (1829). I. Balinsky proposed the term "obsessive ideas", which took root in Russian psychiatric literature. In 1871, Westphal coined the term "agoraphobia" to refer to the fear of being in public places. M. Legrand de Sol , analyzing the features of the dynamics of OCD in the form of "insanity of doubt with delusions of touch, points to a gradually becoming more complicated clinical picture - obsessive doubts are replaced by ridiculous fears of" touch "to surrounding objects, motor rituals join, the fulfillment of which is subject to the whole life sick. However, only at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. researchers were able to more or less clearly describe the clinical picture and give syndromic characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorders. The onset of the disease usually occurs in adolescence and adolescence. The maximum of clinically defined manifestations of obsessive-compulsive disorder is observed in the age range of 10-25 years.
Main clinical manifestations of OCD:
Obsessional thoughts - painful, arising against the will, but recognized by the patient as their own, ideas, beliefs, images, which in a stereotyped form forcibly invade the patient's consciousness and which he tries to resist in some way. It is this combination of an inner sense of compulsive urge and efforts to resist it that characterizes obsessional symptoms, but of the two, the degree of effort exerted is the more variable. Obsessive thoughts may take the form of single words, phrases, or lines of poetry; they are usually unpleasant to the patient and may be obscene, blasphemous, or even shocking.
Obsessional imagery is vivid scenes, often violent or disgusting, including, for example, sexual perversion.
Obsessional impulses are urges to do things that are usually destructive, dangerous or shameful; for example, jumping into the road in front of a moving car, injuring a child, or shouting obscene words while in society.
Obsessional rituals include both mental activities (eg, counting repeatedly in a particular way, or repeating certain words) and repetitive but meaningless acts (eg, washing hands twenty or more times a day). Some of them have an understandable connection with the obsessive thoughts that preceded them, for example, repeated washing of hands - with thoughts of infection. Other rituals (for example, regularly laying out clothes in some complex system before putting them on) do not have such a connection. Some patients feel an irresistible urge to repeat such actions a certain number of times; if that fails, they are forced to start all over again. Patients are invariably aware that their rituals are illogical and usually try to hide them. Some fear that such symptoms are a sign of the onset of insanity. Both obsessive thoughts and rituals inevitably lead to problems in daily activities.
Obsessive rumination (“mental chewing gum”) is an internal debate in which the arguments for and against even the simplest everyday actions are endlessly revised. Some obsessive doubts relate to actions that may have been incorrectly performed or not completed, such as turning off the gas stove faucet or locking the door; others concern actions that could harm other people (for example, the possibility of driving past a cyclist in a car, knocking him down). Sometimes doubts are associated with a possible violation of religious prescriptions and rituals - “remorse of conscience”.
Compulsive actions - repetitive stereotypical actions, sometimes acquiring the character of protective rituals. The latter are aimed at preventing any objectively unlikely events that are dangerous for the patient or his relatives.
In addition to the above, in a number of obsessive-compulsive disorders, a number of well-defined symptom complexes stand out, and among them are obsessive doubts, contrasting obsessions, obsessive fears - phobias (from the Greek. phobos).
Obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals may intensify in certain situations; for example, obsessive thoughts about harming other people often become more persistent in the kitchen or some other place where knives are kept. Since patients often avoid such situations, there may be a superficial resemblance to the characteristic avoidance pattern found in phobic anxiety disorder. Anxiety is an important component of obsessive-compulsive disorders. Some rituals reduce anxiety, while after others it increases. Obsessions often develop as part of depression. In some patients, this appears to be a psychologically understandable reaction to obsessive-compulsive symptoms, but in other patients, recurrent episodes of depressive mood occur independently.
Obsessions (obsessions) are divided into figurative or sensual, accompanied by the development of affect (often painful) and obsessions of affectively neutral content.
Sensual obsessions include obsessive doubts, memories, ideas, drives, actions, fears, an obsessive feeling of antipathy, an obsessive fear of habitual actions.
Obsessive doubts - intrusively arising contrary to logic and reason, uncertainty about the correctness of committed and committed actions. The content of doubts is different: obsessive everyday fears (whether the door is locked, whether windows or water taps are closed tightly enough, whether gas and electricity are turned off), doubts related to official activities (whether this or that document is written correctly, whether the addresses on business papers are mixed up , whether inaccurate figures are indicated, whether orders are correctly formulated or executed), etc. Despite repeated verification of the committed action, doubts, as a rule, do not disappear, causing psychological discomfort in the person suffering from this kind of obsession.
Obsessive memories include persistent, irresistible painful memories of any sad, unpleasant or shameful events for the patient, accompanied by a sense of shame, repentance. They dominate the mind of the patient, despite the efforts and efforts not to think about them.
Obsessive impulses - urges to commit one or another tough or extremely dangerous action, accompanied by a feeling of horror, fear, confusion with the inability to get rid of it. The patient is seized, for example, by the desire to throw himself under a passing train or push a loved one under it, to kill his wife or child in an extremely cruel way. At the same time, patients are painfully afraid that this or that action will be implemented.
Manifestations of obsessive ideas can be different. In some cases, this is a vivid "vision" of the results of obsessive drives, when patients imagine the result of a cruel act committed. In other cases, obsessive ideas, often referred to as mastering, appear in the form of implausible, sometimes absurd situations that patients take for real. An example of obsessive ideas is the patient's conviction that the buried relative was alive, and the patient painfully imagines and experiences the suffering of the deceased in the grave. At the height of obsessive ideas, the consciousness of their absurdity, implausibility disappears and, on the contrary, confidence in their reality appears. As a result, obsessions acquire the character of overvalued formations (dominant ideas that do not correspond to their true meaning), and sometimes delusions.
An obsessive feeling of antipathy (as well as obsessive blasphemous and blasphemous thoughts) - unjustified, driven away by the patient from himself antipathy towards a certain, often close person, cynical, unworthy thoughts and ideas in relation to respected people, in religious persons - in relation to saints or ministers churches.
Obsessive acts are acts done against the wishes of the sick, despite efforts made to restrain them. Some of the obsessive actions burden the patients until they are realized, others are not noticed by the patients themselves. Obsessive actions are painful for patients, especially in those cases when they become the object of attention of others.
Obsessive fears, or phobias, include an obsessive and senseless fear of heights, large streets, open or confined spaces, large crowds of people, the fear of sudden death, the fear of falling ill with one or another incurable disease. Some patients may develop a wide variety of phobias, sometimes acquiring the character of fear of everything (panphobia). And finally, an obsessive fear of the emergence of fears (phobophobia) is possible.
Hypochondriacal phobias (nosophobia) - an obsessive fear of some serious illness. Most often, cardio-, stroke-, syphilo- and AIDS phobias are observed, as well as the fear of the development of malignant tumors. At the peak of anxiety, patients sometimes lose their critical attitude to their condition - they turn to doctors of the appropriate profile, require examination and treatment. The implementation of hypochondriacal phobias occurs both in connection with psycho- and somatogenic (general non-mental illnesses) provocations, and spontaneously. As a rule, hypochondriacal neurosis develops as a result, accompanied by frequent visits to doctors and unreasonable medication.
Specific (isolated) phobias - obsessive fears limited to a strictly defined situation - fear of heights, nausea, thunderstorms, pets, treatment at the dentist, etc. Since contact with situations that cause fear is accompanied by intense anxiety, the patients tend to avoid them.
Obsessive fears are often accompanied by the development of rituals - actions that have the meaning of "magic" spells that are performed, despite the critical attitude of the patient to obsession, in order to protect against one or another imaginary misfortune: before starting any important business, the patient must perform some that specific action to eliminate the possibility of failure. Rituals can, for example, be expressed in snapping fingers, playing a melody to the patient or repeating certain phrases, etc. In these cases, even relatives are not aware of the existence of such disorders. Rituals, combined with obsessions, are a fairly stable system that usually exists for many years and even decades.
Obsessions of affectively neutral content - obsessive sophistication, obsessive counting, recalling neutral events, terms, formulations, etc. Despite their neutral content, they burden the patient, interfere with his intellectual activity.
Contrasting obsessions ("aggressive obsessions") - blasphemous, blasphemous thoughts, fear of harming oneself and others. Psychopathological formations of this group refer mainly to figurative obsessions with pronounced affective saturation and ideas that take possession of the consciousness of patients. They are distinguished by a sense of alienation, the absolute lack of motivation of the content, as well as a close combination with obsessive drives and actions. Patients with contrasting obsessions and complain of an irresistible desire to add endings to the replicas they have just heard, giving an unpleasant or threatening meaning to what has been said, to repeat after those around them, but with a touch of irony or malice, phrases of religious content, to shout out cynical words that contradict their own attitudes and generally accepted morality. , they may experience fear of losing control of themselves and possibly committing dangerous or ridiculous actions, injuring themselves or their loved ones. In the latter cases, obsessions are often combined with object phobias (fear of sharp objects - knives, forks, axes, etc.). The contrasting group also partially includes obsessions of sexual content (obsessions of the type of forbidden ideas about perverted sexual acts, the objects of which are children, representatives of the same sex, animals).
Obsessions of pollution (mysophobia). This group of obsessions includes both the fear of pollution (earth, dust, urine, feces and other impurities), as well as the fear of penetration into the body of harmful and toxic substances (cement, fertilizers, toxic waste), small objects (glass fragments, needles, specific types of dust), microorganisms. In some cases, the fear of contamination can be limited, remain at the preclinical level for many years, manifesting itself only in some features of personal hygiene (frequent change of linen, repeated washing of hands) or in housekeeping (thorough handling of food, daily washing of floors). , "taboo" on pets). This kind of monophobia does not significantly affect the quality of life and is evaluated by others as habits (exaggerated cleanliness, excessive disgust). Clinically manifested variants of mysophobia belong to the group of severe obsessions. In these cases, gradually becoming more complex protective rituals come to the fore: avoiding sources of pollution and touching "unclean" objects, processing things that could get dirty, a certain sequence in the use of detergents and towels, which allows you to maintain "sterility" in the bathroom. Stay outside the apartment is also furnished with a series of protective measures: going out into the street in special clothing that covers the body as much as possible, special processing of wearable items upon returning home. In the later stages of the disease, patients, avoiding pollution, not only do not go out, but do not even leave their own room. In order to avoid contacts and contacts that are dangerous in terms of contamination, patients do not allow even their closest relatives to come near them. Mysophobia is also related to the fear of contracting a disease, which does not belong to the categories of hypochondriacal phobias, since it is not determined by fears that a person suffering from OCD has a particular disease. In the foreground is the fear of a threat from the outside: the fear of pathogenic bacteria entering the body. Hence the development of appropriate protective actions.
A special place in the series of obsessions is occupied by obsessive actions in the form of isolated, monosymptomatic movement disorders. Among them, especially in childhood, tics predominate, which, unlike organically conditioned involuntary movements, are much more complex motor acts that have lost their original meaning. Tics sometimes give the impression of exaggerated physiological movements. This is a kind of caricature of certain motor acts, natural gestures. Patients suffering from tics can shake their heads (as if checking whether the hat fits well), make hand movements (as if discarding interfering hair), blink their eyes (as if getting rid of a mote). Along with obsessive tics, pathological habitual actions (lip biting, gnashing of teeth, spitting, etc.) are often observed, which differ from obsessive actions proper in the absence of a subjectively painful sense of persistence and experience them as alien, painful. Neurotic states characterized only by obsessive tics usually have a favorable prognosis. Appearing most often in preschool and primary school age, tics usually subside by the end of puberty. However, such disorders can also be more persistent, persist for many years and only partially change in manifestations.
The course of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Unfortunately, chronization must be indicated as the most characteristic trend in the OCD dynamics. Cases of episodic manifestations of the disease and complete recovery are relatively rare. However, in many patients, especially with the development and preservation of one type of manifestation (agoraphobia, obsessive counting, ritual handwashing, etc. ), a long-term stabilization of the condition is possible. In these cases, there is a gradual (usually in the second half of life) mitigation of psychopathological symptoms and social readaptation. For example, patients who experienced fear of traveling on certain types of transport, or public speaking, cease to feel flawed and work along with healthy people. In mild forms of OCD, the disease usually proceeds favorably (on an outpatient basis). The reverse development of symptoms occurs after 1 year - 5 years from the moment of manifestation.
More severe and complex OCDs such as phobias of infection, pollution, sharp objects, contrasting performances, multiple rituals, on the other hand, may become persistent, resistant to treatment, or show a tendency to recur with disorders that persist despite active therapy. Further negative dynamics of these conditions indicates a gradual complication of the clinical picture of the disease as a whole.
It is important to distinguish OCD from other disorders that involve compulsions and rituals. In some cases, obsessive-compulsive disorder must be differentiated from schizophrenia, especially when the obsessive thoughts are unusual in content (eg, mixed sexual and blasphemous themes) or the rituals are exceptionally eccentric. The development of a sluggish schizophrenic process cannot be ruled out with the growth of ritual formations, their persistence, the emergence of antagonistic tendencies in mental activity (inconsistency of thinking and actions), and the uniformity of emotional manifestations. Prolonged obsessional states of a complex structure must be distinguished from the manifestations of paroxysmal schizophrenia. Unlike neurotic obsessive states, they are usually accompanied by a sharply increasing anxiety, a significant expansion and systematization of the circle of obsessive associations, which acquire the character of obsessions of "special significance": previously indifferent objects, events, random remarks of others remind patients of the content of phobias, offensive thoughts and thereby acquire in their view a special, menacing significance. In such cases, it is necessary to consult a psychiatrist in order to exclude schizophrenia. It can also be difficult to differentiate between OCD and conditions with a predominance of generalized disorders, known as Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome. Tics in such cases are localized in the face, neck, upper and lower extremities and are accompanied by grimaces, opening the mouth, sticking out the tongue, and intense gesticulation. In these cases, this syndrome can be excluded by the coarseness of movement disorders characteristic of it and more complex in structure and more severe mental disorders.
Speaking about hereditary predisposition to OCD, it should be noted that obsessive-compulsive disorders are found in approximately 5-7% of parents of patients with such disorders. Although this figure is low, it is higher than in the general population. While the evidence for a hereditary predisposition to OCD is still uncertain, psychasthenic personality traits can be largely explained by genetic factors.
Approximately two-thirds of OCD patients improve within a year, more often by the end of this period. If the disease lasts more than a year, fluctuations are observed during its course - periods of exacerbations are interspersed with periods of improvement in health, lasting from several months to several years. The prognosis is worse if we are talking about a psychasthenic personality with severe symptoms of the disease, or if there are continuous stressful events in the patient's life. Severe cases can be extremely persistent; for example, a study of hospitalized patients with OCD found that three-quarters of them remained symptom-free 13 to 20 years later.
TREATMENT: BASIC METHODS AND APPROACHES
Despite the fact that OCD is a complex group of symptom complexes, the principles of treatment for them are the same. The most reliable and effective method of treating OCD is considered to be drug therapy, during which a strictly individual approach to each patient should be manifested, taking into account the characteristics of the manifestation of OCD, age, gender, and the presence of other diseases. In this regard, we must warn patients and their relatives against self-treatment. If any disorders similar to mental ones appear, it is necessary, first of all, to contact the specialists of the psycho-neurological dispensary at the place of residence or other psychiatric medical institutions to establish the correct diagnosis and prescribe competent adequate treatment. At the same time, it should be remembered that at present a visit to a psychiatrist does not threaten with any negative consequences - the infamous "accounting" was canceled more than 10 years ago and replaced by the concepts of consultative and medical care and dispensary observation.
When treating, it must be borne in mind that obsessive-compulsive disorders often have a fluctuating course with long periods of remission (improvement). The apparent suffering of the patient often seems to call for vigorous effective treatment, but the natural course of the condition must be kept in mind in order to avoid the typical error of over-intensive therapy. It is also important to consider that OCD is often accompanied by depression, the effective treatment of which often leads to an alleviation of obsessional symptoms.
The treatment of OCD begins with an explanation of the symptoms to the patient and, if necessary, with reassurance that they are the initial manifestation of insanity (a common concern for patients with obsessions). Those suffering from certain obsessions often involve other family members in their rituals, so relatives need to treat the patient firmly, but sympathetically, mitigating the symptoms as much as possible, and not aggravating it by excessive indulgence in the sick fantasies of patients.
The following therapeutic approaches exist for the currently identified types of OCD. Of the pharmacological drugs for OCD, serotonergic antidepressants, anxiolytics (mainly benzodiazepine), beta-blockers (to stop autonomic manifestations), MAO inhibitors (reversible) and triazole benzodiazepines (alprazolam) are most often used. Anxiolytic drugs provide some short-term relief of symptoms, but should not be given for more than a few weeks at a time. If anxiolytic treatment is required for more than one to two months, small doses of tricyclic antidepressants or small antipsychotics sometimes help. The main link in the treatment regimen for OCD, overlapping with negative symptoms or ritualized obsessions, are atypical antipsychotics - risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, in combination with either SSRI antidepressants or other antidepressants - moclobemide, tianeptine, or with high-potency benzodiazepine derivatives ( alprazolam, clonazepam, bromazepam).
Any comorbid depressive disorder is treated with antidepressants at an adequate dose. There is evidence that one of the tricyclic antidepressants, clomipramine, has a specific effect on obsessive symptoms, but the results of a controlled clinical trial showed that the effect of this drug is insignificant and occurs only in patients with distinct depressive symptoms.
In cases where obsessive-phobic symptoms are observed within the framework of schizophrenia, intensive psychopharmacotherapy with proportional use of high doses of serotonergic antidepressants (fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline, paroxetine, citalopram) has the greatest effect. In some cases, it is advisable to connect traditional antipsychotics (small doses of haloperidol, trifluoperazine, fluanxol) and parenteral administration of benzodiazepine derivatives.
One of the main tasks of the specialist in the treatment of OCD is to establish fruitful cooperation with the patient. It is necessary to instill in the patient faith in the possibility of recovery, to overcome his prejudice against the "harm" caused by psychotropic drugs, to convey his conviction in the effectiveness of treatment, subject to the systematic observance of the prescribed prescriptions. The patient's faith in the possibility of healing must be supported in every possible way by the relatives of the OCD sufferer. If the patient has rituals, it must be remembered that improvement usually occurs when using a combination of the method of preventing a reaction with placing the patient in conditions that aggravate these rituals. Significant but not complete improvement can be expected in about two-thirds of patients with moderately heavy rituals. If, as a result of such treatment, the severity of rituals decreases, then, as a rule, the accompanying obsessive thoughts also recede. In panphobia, predominantly behavioral techniques are used to reduce sensitivity to phobic stimuli, supplemented by elements of emotionally supportive psychotherapy. In cases where ritualized phobias predominate, along with desensitization, behavioral training is actively used to help overcome avoidant behavior. Behavioral therapy is significantly less effective for obsessive thoughts that are not accompanied by rituals. Thought-stopping has been used by some experts for many years, but its specific effect has not been convincingly proven.
We have already noted that obsessive-compulsive disorder has a fluctuating (fluctuating) course and over time the patient's condition may improve regardless of which particular methods of treatment were used. Until recovery, patients can benefit from supportive conversations that provide continued hope for recovery. Psychotherapy in the complex of treatment and rehabilitation measures for patients with OCD is aimed at both correcting avoidant behavior and reducing sensitivity to phobic situations (behavioral therapy), as well as family psychotherapy to correct behavioral disorders and improve family relationships. If marital problems exacerbate symptoms, joint interviews with the spouse are indicated. Patients with panphobia (at the stage of the active course of the disease), due to the intensity and pathological persistence of symptoms, need both medical and social and labor rehabilitation. In this regard, it is important to determine adequate terms of treatment - long-term (at least 2 months) therapy in a hospital with subsequent continuation of the course on an outpatient basis, as well as taking measures to restore social ties, professional skills, family relationships. Social rehabilitation is a set of programs for teaching OCD patients how to behave rationally both at home and in a hospital setting. Rehabilitation is aimed at teaching social skills to properly interact with other people, vocational training, as well as skills necessary in everyday life. Psychotherapy helps patients, especially those who experience a sense of their own inferiority, treat themselves better and correctly, master ways to solve everyday problems, and gain confidence in their strength.
All of these methods, when used judiciously, can increase the effectiveness of drug therapy, but are not capable of completely replacing drugs. It should be noted that explanatory psychotherapy does not always help, and some patients with OCD even worsen because such procedures encourage them to think painfully and unproductively about the subjects discussed in the course of treatment. Unfortunately, science still does not know how to cure mental illness once and for all. OCD often has a tendency to recur, which requires long-term prophylactic medication.
F42 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder...
- F42.0 Predominantly intrusive thoughts or ruminations
- F42.1 Predominantly compulsive action [compulsive rituals]
- F42.2 Mixed obsessive thoughts and actions
- F42.8 Other obsessive-compulsive disorders
- F42. 9 Obsessive-compulsive disorder, unspecified
- Choice of drugs
- obsessive-compulsive syndrome
- Obsessive compulsive states
- Obsessive Compulsive Syndrome
- obsession syndrome
- obsessive-compulsive neurosis
- obsessive neurosis
You can choose the drug using filters. To see the list of medicines included in subgroups, check the box “include drugs in subgroups”. By clicking on icon , you can add a drug to favorites and check for duplicates and drug interactions.
Bold indicates medicines included in the reference books of the current year. Next to the name of the drug, the weekly level of the information demand index (an indicator that reflects the degree of consumer interest in information about the drug) can be indicated.
include subgroup drugs
Pharmgroup * All pharmaceutical groups Anxiolytics Antidepressants Antipsychotics Nootropics Sedatives in combinations
Active ingredient * All DV Alimemazine Amitriptyline Hawthorn fruit + Sweet clover herb + Coriander fruit + Melissa officinalis herb + Oat seed + Motherwort herb + Hop seed Haloperidol Imipramine Clomipramine Paroxetine Sertraline Thioridazine Tofisopam Fluvoxamine Fluoxetine Phenylpiracetam Citalopram Escitalopram
Lec. the form All lek. dragee forms drops for oral administration capsules tincture solution for intravenous and intramuscular injection solution for intramuscular injection solution for intramuscular injection (oily) solution for injection tablets sustained-release tablets, film-coated tablets with prolonged release, film-coated tablets dispersible in the oral cavity coated tablets film-coated tablets
Dosage All dosages 1.5 mg 10 mg 10 mg/ml 100 mg 12.5 mg/ml 2 mg/ml 20 mg 25 mg 30 mg 40 mg 5 mg 5 mg/ml 50 mg 50 mg/ml 60 mg 75 mg No dosage
Manufacturer All manufacturers ALSI Pharma AO ALSI Pharma ZAO Actavis AO Apotex Inc. Binnopharm AO Biokom AO Biokom ZAO Biokhimik AO Bryntsalov-A PAO Valenta Pharmaceuticals AO (JSC Valenta Pharm) Valenta Pharmaceuticals OAO Valenta Pharmaceuticals PJSC (PJSC Valenta Pharm) Weimer Pharma Welfarm OOO Veropharm AO Veropharm OAO G.L.Pharma GmbH GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals State Plant of Medicinal Products FSUE DKhG Pharmaceutical Closed Joint Stock Company with One Shareholder (DHG PHARMA) Elfa JSC Pharmaceutical Plant Zentiva a.