Use of selective alternative therapies for treatment of OCD

Document Type

Review Article


Medical College Pakistan


About 40% of the people with the obsessive-compulsive-disorder do not experience the desired outcome after the existing treatment, and its several side effects were reported. This systematic review was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of alternative drugs and assess the possibility of their use as treatment options for obsessive-compulsive-disorder. The Scientific databases PubMed, Science Direct, Google Scholar, Cochrane, Directory of Open Access Journals, MedRxiv and BioRxiv, were searched from inception to March 2022, using appropriate search strategies for each drug and following the Prisma guidelines 2020. Studies were selected according to the already set criteria and assessed for bias. Data were extracted, and descriptive and continuous data were analyzed and presented as frequency/percentage and mean. A total of 16 observational and interventional studies were included for data extraction. The studies focused on four drugs, Psilocybin (n=4), Cannabis (n=7), Nicotine (n=3), and Morphine (n=2), that were used to test out their effect on OCD symptoms. Overall, the majority of the studies showed promising results by documenting a reduction in Y-BOCS scores. However, few subjects, specifically those using nicotine or Cannabis, did not affect their condition or self-reported worsening symptoms. Few side effects were also noticed. This systematic review found that the drugs mostly showed a positive response. All Psilocybin and morphine users, 88.2% and 74.1% of the nicotine and Cannabis users, respectively, reported experiencing the positive effect of these drugs, indicating that these drugs have the potential to be used in the management of OCD. However, further research is required in this arena to thoroughly understand the mechanism of action by which these drugs produce their therapeutic effect. Policies to destigmatize and encourage clinical trials with these drugs are crucial for exploring the use of these drugs as a treatment option for OCD


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment