OCD and Medication Issues

Reader’s Question

My doctor prescribed 20mg daily of paroxetine, for OCD and mild ADD. I do not suffer from depression. I have taken the drug for about 2 months now, and don’t notice any difference at all in obsessive, compulsive behaviours, or in concentration, which were not really extreme, but a little troublesome at times. I would like to get off of the drug. What is the best way to quit taking this, rather than to quit abruptly. Thank you!!

Psychologist’s Reply

Don’t stop any medication without the supervision of your physician. However, I would recommend that you consult with your physician about the lack of therapeutic response to the medication. What you’re describing is a “starter dose” of paroxetine (Paxil). From your description, I’d bet you were prescribed the medication from a family physician. Family MDs are often very conservative when using antidepressants. They often use too low a dose and don’t use multiple medications. Rather than give up on medications for your troubling OCD symptoms, I’d recommend consulting with a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is the mental health professional best trained in using medications at therapeutic doses and using multiple meds when necessary. Your symptoms are very treatable given the correct medication choice and dosage.

I’d also recommend reading my article on Chemical Imbalance on my website at www.drjoecarver.com. It describes how brain neurochemistry creates OCD and other symptoms and how medications are used to treat those symptoms.

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