The Medication for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – How It Works and What to Expect

Photo of author

By David

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness that affects a person’s thoughts, behavior, and emotions. It can be difficult to live with this condition because it causes you to think about things repeatedly and become afraid of things that are not actually dangerous. OCD makes it hard for you to focus on the present because your mind is always somewhere else. It also causes you to do certain things repeatedly in order to feel less anxious or afraid. In other words, the symptoms of OCD are so severe that they interfere with your everyday life. There is no known cause for obsessive-compulsive disorder, but genetics and environmental factors likely play a role. For example, if someone in your family has been diagnosed with OCD, there’s a good chance you will develop it as well.

Medication and Therapy

It is important to combine medication with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In fact, research shows that people who only use CBT are less successful at overcoming OCD than those who use both CBT and medication. That’s because medication can help improve brain function, allowing the CBT to take effect better. Medication can also reduce symptoms so that you can better focus on the CBT. When combined, these treatments are more likely to reduce the severity of OCD and increase the chance of a full recovery. The medications for OCD are generally safe and have few side effects. They are usually taken for a short period of time until the person can learn how to control their symptoms on their own.

How Medication Works to Treat Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Medications for OCD are designed to improve brain function. They may help reduce the severity of symptoms so that you can better focus on the CBT. You can use CBT to learn how to control your OCD symptoms. Medications may also reduce the intensity of OCD symptoms so you can focus on CBT. Most people with OCD get better with treatment. However, research suggests that medication may be more effective when used in addition to CBT. That’s because medication can help improve brain function, allowing the CBT to take effect better. It can also reduce symptoms so that you can better focus on the CBT.

What to Expect When Taking Medication for OCD

The specific effects of medications for OCD vary from person to person. Some medications will cause you to feel better right away, while others take a few weeks to take effect. The effect of medications may also vary over time. You may experience certain side effects when taking medication for OCD. These side effects may include the following: Dry mouth Nausea or vomiting Sleepiness or lethargy Diarrhea or constipation Blurred vision Impaired sexual functioning Weight gain You may need to adjust the dosage of your medication or switch to another medication as your body adjusts to the treatment. Your doctor can help you determine what dosage is right for you.

Side Effects of the Medication for OCD

Medications are designed to help people with OCD reduce symptoms and lead a more normal life. While these drugs can be beneficial, they can also cause unwanted side effects. Some side effects of the medications for OCD are more frequent than others. The most common side effects include: Nausea or vomiting Dry mouth Diarrhea Sleepiness or lethargy Blurred vision Weight gain Impaired sexual functioning There are other side effects that occur less frequently. They include: Dizziness or fainting Headaches Drowsiness Abnormal bleeding or bruising Abnormal liver function Abnormal heart function Abnormal blood pressure Abnormal blood sugar Abnormal blood clotting Increased risk of infection

Why Is Medication Not Always Effective?

There are a couple of possible reasons why medication might not be effective in treating OCD. You might not be taking the right medication. The dosage may not be high enough to see a significant improvement. Or, you may not be taking it long enough to see the full benefits of the medication. There are also a few symptoms of OCD that medication may not address. Those would include: Excessive worry about health or safety Uncontrolled worry that disrupts daily activities Excessive worry about a child or loved one Behaviors that cause harm to yourself or others

Tips to Help You Feel Better While Taking Medication for OCD

Here are some tips to help you manage any side effects of the medication for OCD. Talk to your doctor about any issues you’re having with the medication and suggest how to fix them. If you’re experiencing nausea or vomiting, try taking smaller doses at a time. Eat small and frequent meals throughout the day and avoid carbonated beverages or caffeine. You can also take an anti-nausea medication to help reduce symptoms. If you have side effects like blurred vision, dizziness, or fainting, stop driving and avoid other dangerous situations until the effects go away. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water each day.


Medication can be an effective treatment for OCD in many people. However, it is important to note that medication does not cure OCD. Medication should be used in conjunction with therapy so that you can develop skills and techniques to manage your symptoms on your own. While medication can help reduce the symptoms of OCD, it does not address the underlying cause of the disorder. That’s why it is important to consider medication as part of an overall treatment plan. And remember, it can take a few tries before you find the medication that works best for you.