Although cognitive-behavioral therapy is considered the best treatment for obsessive compulsive disorder, taking medication can also be very helpful. However remember that you should not take any medication unless it is prescribed by your psychiatrist. Messing with the chemicals in your brain is not easy. You need professional medical and psychiatric guidance.
Medications for OCD improve the symptoms by increasing the serotonin levels in your brain. It also maintains the balance once it has reached the right level. Serotonin is believed to be the chemical that plays a huge role in the regulation of aggression, mood, anger, sleep, appetite and sexuality of a person. Low levels of serotonin may be related to clinical depression and other anxiety disorders like OCD.
OCD medications are called Selective Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Psychiatrists prescribe these antidepressants to restore the serotonin balance in the brain and reduce depression and anxiety. SSRIs include sertraline, fluoxeline, fluvoxamine and paroxetine. Although these are very effective, SSRIs should not be prescribed to anyone below age 18. Fluoxetine and sertraline are the only SSRIs that can be taken by children and adolescents. This is because all the other SSRIs have an increased risk of side effects that do not manifest in adults.
Clomipramine used to be the a common treatment for OCD. However tricyclic antidepressants like clomipramine have more side effects than the newer SRRIs. Today clomipramine is not prescribed as often as before.
OCD medications generally takes two to 4 weeks for the effects to work. In some cases though, it can take up to two and a half months. Symptoms are expected to improve by up to 70%. If your psychiatrist sees positive results, you will be required to take them for at least a year. If you stop taking the medicine, there is a great risk for the symptoms to return. To make sure that the symptoms won’t bother you again, you need a course of cognitive-behavior therapy combined with your medication. This approach is often the most effective.
|« OCD in Children||OCD Symptoms »|