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Although selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
are most often used to treat
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), there are other
medicines that may be used or added to SSRI medicines for OCD.
Risperidone (Risperdal) is one such medicine that sometimes is added to SSRI
treatment of OCD. Risperidone has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety
symptoms in people with OCD whose symptoms have not responded to an SSRI
alone.footnote 1 Risperidone is an antipsychotic drug that can
cause some negative side effects, such as:
The makers of Risperdal (risperidone) have recently issued a
warning that there may be an increased risk of stroke among older adults who take
this medicine. Discuss this risk with your doctor before trying Risperdal
Another medicine that might be added to SSRI
treatment of OCD is clonazepam. Clonazepam is considered both an anticonvulsant
benzodiazepine medicine. It sometimes is used to treat
anxiety disorders as well as
Tourette's disorder (a tic disorder). Research is
ongoing to find out how effective it is to add clonazepam to an SSRI to treat
If other mental health disorders (such as
depression) are present along with OCD, it may be
necessary to treat the disorders at the same time with additional medicines
that may include:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a
warning on anticonvulsant and mood stabilizer medicines and the risk of suicide
and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these
medicines. Instead, people who take anticonvulsant or mood stabilizer medicine
should be watched closely for
warning signs of suicide. People who take
anticonvulsant or mood stabilizer medicine and who are worried about this side
effect should talk to a doctor.
See Drug Reference for more
information about these medicines. (Drug Reference is not available on all
King RA, et al. (1998). Practice parameters for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 37(10, Suppl): 27S–45S.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerPatrice Burgess, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerLisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Current as ofNovember 20, 2015
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
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