Antidepressents may Supress OCD

Antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are more effective than placebo for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), according to a review of available clinical evidence. "Obsessive compulsive disorder is a common and disabling disorder," write Dr. G. Mustafa Soomro, of the University of London, UK, and colleagues. "Individual randomized controlled trials have shown that SSRIs are effective in this condition," they note, but previous reviews or pooled analyses are "methodologically problematic or limited in the scope of their analysis."
The researchers identified 17 randomized controlled trials involving 3097 people that examined the efficacy of SSRIs compared with placebo for OCD in adults. The SSRIs included fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa).
Based on pooled data from all 17 studies, SSRIs as a group were more effective than placebo in reducing obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms between 6 and 13 weeks post-treatment. All five drugs demonstrated a similar degree of benefit.
SSRIs are not without side effects, however. "Although reported adverse effect data were limited, with few exceptions, the overall and individual adverse effects for the different SSRIs were always worse than for placebo, and in the majority of cases, the difference was statistically significant," Soomro and colleagues report. "The most common adverse effect was nausea."

Summing up, the researchers note that while SSRIs seem more effective than placebo for OCD, "at least in the short-term," the longer term efficacy and tolerability has yet to be established.

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