At this time there is not sufficient evidence to suggest that Effexor should be prescribed as a first-line treatment for OCD. SSRI's appear to produce better and more reliable results in most individuals, which is why they are the preferred choice of OCD treatment. Some believe that for the 40 percent who fail to respond to SSRIs, Effexor is worth trying and may be effective.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recommends against prescribing Effexor for OCD unless comorbidity exists, meaning another illness is also present. Effexor may be useful in treating OCD when SSRIs fail to work or when other conditions such as depression or body dysmorphic disorder coexist with OCD.
Because there is no way of knowing which of the OCD medications will effectively treat OCD in each individual patient, it is not uncommon for several medications and different dosages to be tried before one that works is found. Some people respond best when taking multiple medications concurrently. Each individual has a unique brain chemistry and responds differently to each medication. Finding the right one is a process of trial and error. Some people are fortunate and respond well to the first medication tried. Others may need to experiment with several types of medication before finding one that works. It takes several weeks to know if a particular medication is working.
Finding the right medication may even take several months to a year, depending on how many different medications the patient needs to try. To assist doctors in finding the best medications and dosages, patients should share any new symptoms with their doctors and any side effects they experience from the medication.
Until more research is conducted, Effexor remains a second-line treatment for OCD.