Common antidepressant drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft can be effective options for treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), says a new review of studies.
OCD is a psychiatric anxiety disorder most commonly characterized by a subject's obsessive, distressing, intrusive thoughts and related compulsions (tasks or "rituals"), which attempt to neutralize the obsessions.
The study, led by Dr. Ghulam Mustafa Soomro, honorary research fellow at St. George's Hospital Medical School in London, stated that patients who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are twice as likely to get some relief from their OCD symptoms as compared to those who take placebo pills.
Common antidepressant drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft can be effective treatment options for Patients who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are twice as likely to get some relief from their OCD symptoms compared with OCD sufferers who take placebo pills.
"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, including nausea, insomnia and sexual dysfunction," Soomro said.
In the research, the scientists reviewed 17 studies that included 3,097 patients.
From the analysis, the reviewers concluded that SSRIs were more effective than a placebo in reducing OCD symptoms six to 13 weeks after starting treatment.
None of the drugs stood out above the rest; they all appeared equally effective. However, in most cases, side effects such as nausea and headache were noticeably worse with the SSRIs than with the placebo pills.
The study is published in The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research.