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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Mental Health (Mental Disorders)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Alternate Names : OCD, Obsessive-Compulsive Neurosis

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment for OCD usually involves both therapy and medication

Exposure and response prevention therapy is very useful for treating OCD. In this approach, a person is exposed to whatever triggers the obsessive thoughts. The individual is then taught techniques to avoid performing the compulsive rituals. He or she is also taught to deal with the anxiety.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is also used to treat OCD. The provider helps the person change his or her attitudes and beliefs. The individual learns to react differently to obsessions or compulsions.

Relaxation techniques may also be helpful. They help the person to control the body's reactions to anxiety.

Following is a list of antidepressant medications used to treat OCD:

  • clomipramine
  • fluoxetine
  • fluvoxamine
  • paroxetine
  • sertraline
  • Medications may take weeks to show any improvement in OCD. If one medicine is not effective, others can be tried.

    Neurosurgery may be performed for severe cases of OCD. It is done only if all other treatment has failed and the person is severely disabled.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Antidepressants may cause mild and usually temporary side effects in some people. Here is a list of the most common side effects:

  • agitation
  • constipation
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • What happens after treatment for the condition?

    Treatment of OCD is lifelong.

    How is the condition monitored?

    The person with OCD may have regular visits with the healthcare provider. The provider may order blood tests to monitor the level of medications. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the provider.

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    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Ann Reyes, Ph.D.
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 09/11/01

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