Best Antidepressant for OCD: The Top 3 Options

Best Antidepressant for OCD: The Top 3 Options

If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from OCD, you know how difficult it can be to find the right medication to treat your condition. In this blog post, we will discuss the 10 best antidepressants for OCD and provide information on how they work and what side effects to expect. We hope this information will help you find the medication that works best for you!

Understanding Antidepressants For OCD

Understanding Antidepressants For OCDAntidepressants are described as the “first line” of treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They can help reduce obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Patients with OCD usually need to take antidepressants for at least 12 weeks before any relief is felt.

OCD is a complex disorder, and some patients respond better to certain types of antidepressants than others. It is important to work with your doctor to find the right medication for you.

However, studies have suggested that the best antidepressant for OCD is serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs). SRIs can help regulate serotonin levels in the brain, which is important to reduce obsessive thoughts and behaviors.

With the right information and treatment plan, antidepressants can be an effective way to manage OCD symptoms. It is important to remember that while medications can help, they are not a complete treatment for the disorder and should be used with other forms of therapy.

Best Antidepressants For OCD

There are several different types of medications used to treat OCD. The most commonly prescribed are:

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are a type of antidepressant medication that works by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, thus increasing levels of this important neurotransmitter. This type of medication is often used for OCD because it helps to reduce the obsessive thoughts and behaviors associated with the disorder.

Common SSRIs prescribed for OCD include:

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)

Although not as commonly prescribed as SSRIs, TCAs can also be effective in treating OCD. These medications work by increasing levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, which helps to reduce anxiety and obsessive thoughts associated with OCD. Commonly prescribed TCAs for OCD include:

  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

MAOI medications work by blocking the monoamine oxidase enzyme, which helps to increase the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain. MAOIs are typically used when other medications haven’t worked or if symptoms are severe. Commonly prescribed MAOIs for OCD include:

  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Atomoxetine (Strattera)

This medication works differently than the other medications listed here, as it is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It helps to increase levels of this neurotransmitter in the brain, which can help to reduce obsessive thoughts and behaviors associated with OCD.

It’s important to talk with your doctor about any medications you take for OCD, as different medications can have different side effects and interactions. Be sure to discuss any potential risks or concerns before starting a new medication.

Recommended Dosage

Recommended DosageBest antidepressants for OCD are usually prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, which may include cognitive-behavioral therapy and medications. Generally, the dosages range from 10 to 60 milligrams per day. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking these medications.

Do not take more or less than what has been recommended by your doctor. If you do not notice a difference in your symptoms after about four weeks, you should notify your doctor and make sure that the dosage is correct. Some people may require a higher dose than what was initially prescribed, while others may find relief with lower doses. It can take several months for antidepressants to reach their full effect.

Therefore, it is important to be patient and give the medication time to work. The right dosage can vary from person to person. So your doctor may monitor your progress and adjust the dosage as needed.

Which Is The Most Effective Antidepressant For OCD?

There is no single antidepressant that works best for all people with OCD. Different types and combinations of medications may be needed to get the most effective results. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed class of medications for treating OCD symptoms.

Because SSRIs can take a few weeks to reach their full effect. And other medications may be used in the short term to help control more acute symptoms. These include serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as venlafaxine (Effexor) and tricyclic antidepressants like clomipramine (Anafranil).

In some cases, doctors may also prescribe antipsychotics to help reduce OCD symptoms. Examples include risperidone (Risperdal) and olanzapine (Zyprexa). Research has shown that combining an SSRI with cognitive-behavioral therapy can be one of the most effective treatments for reducing OCD symptoms.

Potential Side Effects

No matter, what best antidepressant for OCD you choose, you should be aware of the potential side effects. These can include:

  • Weight gain or loss
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Constipation
  • Restlessness and agitation

If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor right away. They may be able to adjust your medication or modify the dose to reduce the severity of these symptoms. Also, always read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medication to make sure that you are aware of all potential side effects.

It’s important to remember that everyone reacts differently to medications for OCD, so it may take some time to find the best option for you. Don’t be discouraged if the first one doesn’t work – try another and keep an open dialogue with your doctor.

Tips To Minimize The Risks

Tips To Minimize The RisksIf you’re prescribed antidepressants to treat OCD, it’s important to take certain precautions and take steps to reduce the risk of potential side effects.

  1. Follow your doctor’s instructions closely. Make sure you understand the dosing and usage instructions for any medication you are prescribed and follow them carefully. Take the right dose at the right time, and be sure to take any other prescribed medications as directed.
  2. Monitor your symptoms and side effects closely. Pay close attention to changes in your symptoms and how you feel, and look out for any new or worsening side effects that may occur while taking the medication. Be sure to tell your doctor if you notice any changes.
  3. Educate yourself about the medication. Understand how it works, what it is used for, and its potential side effects. Be sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have about the medication or its usage.
  4. Avoid alcohol and other drugs. Alcohol and certain other drugs can interact with antidepressants in dangerous ways, so make sure to avoid them while taking your medication.
  5. Talk to a mental health professional. If you are prescribed an antidepressant for OCD, it is important to also have regular sessions with a therapist or mental health professional in order to receive additional psychological support and guidance.

By keeping these tips in mind and taking the necessary precautions, you can help reduce the risks associated with taking antidepressants for OCD. It is also important to remember that it is a medical condition that requires professional treatment. So don’t be afraid to reach out for help if needed!


To conclude, the best antidepressants for OCD might include SSRIs, tricyclic antidepressants, and MAOIs. These classes of medications are the most commonly prescribed for treating OCD. They work by increasing levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help reduce obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

It is important to remember that every individual is different and may respond differently to different medications. It is best to talk with a doctor or mental health professional about which antidepressant might be best for you. With the right treatment, OCD can be managed effectively and individuals can lead happy healthy lives.

Don’t hesitate to contact us immediately for more information! OCD is a mental health disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Contact us today if you have any queries regarding OCD treatment, or ERP therapy the experienced therapists at OCDMantra can help: Book a trial OCD therapy session