Medical Minute: Controlling OCD

When tasks like washing, arranging, checking and hoarding take over a person's life, they become out of control obsessions. It's called obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, and 1 million Americans struggle with it every day. Two different treatments keep the disorder in check.

Dr. Nathan Shapira is an expert on obsessive-compulsive disorder, a common condition that can be difficult to treat.

"Forty to 50 percent get almost no benefit from current treatments, and the other half typically get partial benefit," says Dr. Shapira.

Jim Price knows. He's tried more than 20 drugs, and none have worked. One drug researchers are focusing on is topiramate. They hope adding it to standard OCD treatments will help patients.

"Topiramate has been reported in case reports and some small trials to be helpful in various anxiety disorders."

To help the depression that came with his OCD, Jim used a different drug, tramadol.

"It has not cured my depression, but it has held it at a level much lower than what I had before I started taking the tramadol."

Dr. Shapira says depression improves up to 60 percent with tramadol. Still, he wants more for his patients.

"They're still somewhat disabled by their illness, although they're a lot better. Our hope is these types of medications might help to really get the person well as opposed to just better."

For more information, contact:

Mike Garrison, Broadcast Coordinator
University of Florida Health Science Center News
(352) 392-7579

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