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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Treatment Overview

Ongoing treatment

Ongoing treatment for OCD includes monitoring the dosage and effectiveness of your medicines. Your doctor may want you to stay on one medicine for at least 10 to 12 weeks before trying a different antidepressant. Although antidepressants are considered the most effective medicine for OCD, researchers are studying whether other medicines can be combined with antidepressants for better results.

If you are in counseling, your doctor will monitor your progress and, if necessary, modify the amount or type of counseling you're receiving. Between 13 and 20 sessions may be needed to relieve symptoms. Your doctor may also advise family members to participate in therapy with you or on their own.

Treatment if the condition gets worse

Deep brain stimulation, which uses surgically implanted electrodes in the brain, and magnetic stimulation of parts of the brain may be tried in rare cases of OCD when other treatment has not been successful.

What to think about

Consistency is important for both counseling and medicines. People who don't take their medicines regularly or stop altogether often have their symptoms return (relapse). With therapy, it is important to work with your doctor to find out when, or if, you should stop.

If you need help deciding whether to see your doctor, see some reasons why people don't get help and how to overcome them.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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