Drug therapy (Possible side-effects (Some patients suffer side-effects (e…
Small minority of people will get no benefit from SSRIs
Some patients suffer side-effects
e.g. indigestion, blurred vision and loss of sex drive.
Patients taking Clomipramine - side-effects more common and can be more serious
More than 1/10 people suffer erection problems and weight gain
1/100 become aggressive and suffer disruption to blood pressure and heart rhythm
Side-effect factors reduce effectiveness because people people stop taking medication
Effective at tackling OCD symptoms
Soomro et al. (2009) reviewed 17 studies comparing SSRIs to placebos in treatment of OCD.
All studies showed significantly better results from SSRIs
Effectiveness is greatest when SSRIs are combined with psychological treatment (usually CBT)
70% of patients taking SSRIs see reduction in symptoms
Rest of patients are helped by alternative drugs or CBT and drugs
Shows drugs can help most patients with OCD.
Cost-effective and non-disruptive
Cheap compared to psychological treatments
Good value for NHS
SSRIs are non-disruptive to patients lives compared to psychological treatments
Can take drugs until symptoms decline - not engage with hard cognition work of psychological therapy
Many doctors and patients like drug treatments for these reasons.
Some cases of OCD follow trauma
OCD is widely believed to have biological origin
Sense that standard treatment should be bioloigcal
Acknowledged that OCD can have range of other causes
In some cases, response to traumatic life events.
Not appropriate to use drugs when treating cases following trauma
Psychological therapies may provide best option.
Evidence for drug treatments is unreliable
SSRIs fairly effective and most side-effects short term - some contradictory evidence
Some believe evidence favouring drug treatments is biased
Sponsored by drug companies who don't report all evidence.
Remove evidence that doesn't support effectiveness of certain drugs
Maximise economic gain