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Is it possible for Buspirone to help OCD?

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I know it's used to augment SSRIs but I am only on a little bit of buspirone. (only 15mg a day!) I haven't actually been diagnosed with OCD and while the OCD part of me seriously is doubting it I'm pretty sure my symptoms fit.

I don't have debilitating OCD but it was super distressing before and now I feel a lot less anxious about the things I obsess about (not being certain of my boyfriend). A few new things have popped up while I've been taking this (like I have never thought what if I am gay? before and that only started with the buspirone) but I mostly feel pretty improved most days. Sometimes, not so much.

Like I said I don't feel totally cured but I really really think it helps. And it is such a tiny amount.

I just want to know if it is the Buspar that is helping. I didn't realized I had OCD until after I started taking it and I don't think it's the placebo effect because up until just like a week or two ago I thought Buspar was completely ineffective for OCD but then I read about how sometimes it helps.

I don't particularly want to go on an SSRI so if the Buspar is helping like this then even more will help more. I'm seeing a psychiatrist soon.

So would a tiny amount of buspirone help mild to moderate OCD? (some days severe I guess, like the days it made me cry and seriously contemplate breaking up with my wonderful boyfriend for no reason)

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In a word: Yes. It's possible.

Buspirone is approved for Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Since anxiety is a feature of OCD, it's possible it could help for OCD. Some references:

Buspirone: future directions

by Apter JT, Allen LA

Princeton Biomedical Research, PA, New Jersey, USA.

J Clin Psychopharmacol 1999 Feb; 19(1):86-93


The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of buspirone for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in 1986. Since then, numerous studies have examined the efficacy and safety of buspirone for patients with not only generalized feelings of anxiety, but also panic disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, social phobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor-induced adverse events, dementia, behavioral disturbances, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, and tobacco dependency. Although relatively few placebo-controlled trials have been conducted on patients with problems other than GAD, an ever-growing body of research suggests future directions for the use of buspirone. This article reviews the body of research relating to new uses for buspirone.

Other Tranquilizers: Buspirone (Buspar)

Possible Benefits. Buspirone is helpful for generalized anxiety, OCD and panic. Much less likely than the benzodiazepines to cause drowsiness and fatigue. A very safe medication. It is not habit-forming, and there are no withdrawal symptoms.

Possible Disadvantages. Unlike the benzodiazepines, does not work right away. You can't take one as needed and expect to notice benefits. Avoid use during first three months of pregnancy. Consult physician regarding use in last six months of pregnancy or during breast-feeding.

Possible Side Effects. Few. Headache and dizziness can each occur in 3% to 12% of patients, but usually go away in a few days. Mild drowsiness possible.

Dosages Recommended by Investigators. 5 mg three times per day during the first week and 10 mg two to three times per day during week 2. Symptom relief can begin as early as Week 1, with most symptom reduction by Week 4. Maximum dose is usually 60 mg. Subtle, progressive therapeutic effects, not dramatic effects. Others may notice improvement before the patient does.

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