How Effective Is Prozac In OCD Treatment?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder common among children and adolescents. This chronic and debilitating disorder causes recurrent obsessions, such as repetitive thoughts or urges and/or compulsions, which are repetitive behaviors in response to obsessive thoughts.

The diagnosis of OCD is currently based on the internationally acknowledged classification system, known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders¹ in the U.S. and ICD 10 criteria in other countries.

Treatment in the form of medication and psychotherapy, or a blend of both, is often prescribed to OCD patients. Psychotherapy treatment combined with medication is often chosen for more severe, comorbid, and treatment-resistant OCD.

Prozac, also known as fluoxetine, was the first selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) to be marketed after approval by the FDA in late 1978. 

The efficacy of Prozac in reducing the severity and frequency of obsessive-compulsive disorder has been confirmed in several studies.² SSRIs for children and adolescents³ are superior to placebo. 

Have you considered clinical trials for Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

How does Prozac work?

To this day, it is still unclear how OCD medications work. Nevertheless, decades of research have shown that the treatments do work.⁴ Apart from the fact that all these medications affect serotonin levels (a brain chemical responsible for sending messages around the body), there’s little more to go by.

Without enough serotonin, your brain cannot communicate with the nerves efficiently. Prozac and other OCD treatments help boost your serotonin levels and improve brain functioning, reducing the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

What are the side effects of using Prozac?

Several side effects are associated with using fluoxetine and other OCD medications such as Anafranil. It is, therefore, essential for both you and the doctor to weigh the pros and cons of using fluoxetine or any other OCD medication. 

If you are considering taking medication for OCD, you must notify your doctor of any underlying conditions you may have. It is also essential to keep your doctor updated on the effects of the medication on your body once you have begun taking it. Sometimes all you need to do is adjust the dosage or switch the time of day it is taken for it to be more effective. 

Sensitivity to fluoxetine

Patients present varying sensitivity levels to different OCD medications. Some of them cannot handle the effects of the drugs, even at the lowest doses. However, most people will eventually improve their ability to take the medications if they start at low doses and slowly increase the dosage over time. 

Consult your doctor on which doses are appropriate for you to begin with and what amount you should aim to reach after a given period. Be sure to consult them every time you are making changes to how you take your OCD medications. 

The lowdown

Prozac OCD treatment is the most popular prescription among psychiatrists and physicians. While it works to reduce symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, it does have side effects that you need to discuss with your doctor. 

For best results, exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy is combined with Prozac or other medications to manage the symptoms of OCD.

FAQ

What kind of doctor prescribes Prozac?

Any licensed physician can prescribe fluoxetine and other OCD medications. However, it is best to consult a board-certified psychiatrist⁵ in your area with experience in treating OCD and other mental health disorders. 

Do I have to take Prozac forever?

Whether or not you will take your fluoxetine medication forever is not known. While some patients can quit their OCD medications in 6–12 months, most may have to continue taking at least a small dose for years or even for life. 

The risk of relapse is likely to be lowered by learning behavior therapy techniques while your medications have been deemed effective. These ERP techniques have been known to help patients control compulsive symptoms that return after they have completed their doses. 

Symptoms don’t often return immediately after you stop taking the medication. Fortunately, most patients whose OCD symptoms reappear a few weeks or months after stopping treatment respond well if the drug is reintroduced. 

Do I need to combine fluoxetine with other treatments?

It is essential to take other medications only if your physician prescribes them. However, most therapists and psychiatrists recommend combining ERP therapy with your OCD medication as the most effective approach.

Have you considered clinical trials for Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

Joining community groups and exercise programs for my condition made me feel empowered – but I want to be part of finding a cure.
Peter, 64

Have you considered clinical trials for Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)?

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