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Wellbutrin and OCD

written by: LDP • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 11/14/2010

Wellbutrin for OCD and its co-morbid conditions have been and continue to be researched for effectiveness. The various symptoms associated with OCD can be treated with Wellbutrin and the co-morbid conditions often found in patients with OCD are well treated with this bupropion.

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    Patients with obsessive compulsive disorder also suffer from numerous co-morbid conditions that medications such as SSRI and atypical antidepressants like Wellbutrin for OCD can help treat. SSRI medications are the main type of medications prescribed to those with various forms of OCD and although Wellbutrin is not specifically used as a typical treatment of OCD in and of its self, it is prescribed for various co-morbid conditions that are often associated with the symptoms of OCD.

    Various conditions that are considered co-morbid conditions of obsessive compulsive disorder include but are not limited to anxiety and panic attacks, Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Trichotillomania.

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    Wellbutrin for OCD Co-Morbid Conditions

    Many patients diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder are also often found to have Major Depressive Disorder as well as issues with anxiety; including anxiety or panic attacks. The use of an atypical antidepressant such as Wellbutrin along with the commonly prescribed SSRI types of antidepressants have shown to be beneficial for many patients with OCD.

    How Wellbutrin Helps with Symptoms of OCD

    As earlier mentioned, Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant. Instead of concentrating on serotonin, this type of drug is a neurological drug that focuses on dopamine and norepinephrine. By combining an SSRI antidepressant to help treat the overall serotonin issues associated with OCD, the atypical Wellbutrin focuses on other areas of the brain to help send signals to the brain regarding dopamine and norepinephrine levels. This combination of medications for OCD in conjunction with talk therapy have been beneficial to many with obsessive compulsive disorders as well as those who have OCD with anxiety attacks.

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    Major Depressive Disorder: Common Co-Morbid Condition of OCD

    Major Depressive Disorder, MDD, is a common condition associated with OCD for many patients. Wellbutrin for OCD patients who also experience MDD has shown in numerous studies to be effective in treating MDD. Click here to learn more about the assessment and diagnosis of MDD.

    For a patient to be considered to have MDD they must meet certain criteria. The patient must have a sad or depressed mood that has lasted at least two weeks in addition to having feelings of guilt, worthlessness insomnia or hypersomnia, decreased appetite, weight loss, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed by the person, difficulty concentrating and suicidal thoughts and sometimes suicidal attempts. It is reported that 1 in every 50 Americans suffer from OCD and due to the symptoms of OCD and the co-morbid conditions it has been found that at least a certain percentage of patients with little to no treatment for the OCD or its other conditions have thought of suicide or have even gone so far as to attempt suicide.

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    FDA Approved Uses of Wellbutrin

    The FDA, Food and Drug Administration, has listed the approved uses of Wellbutrin for the treatment of MDD, Seasonal Affective Disorder and smoking cessation. Wellbutrin to just treat OCD is not approved and is not likely to be effective due to its inability to provide the SSRI properties that many if not all patients who rely on medications to aide in the relief of some OCD symptoms. It has been; however, shown that the combination of typical OCD SSRI medications in conjunction with dopamine and norepinephrine medications like Wellbutrin have proven to be a beneficial combination of drug treatments for those with OCD and Major Depressive Disorder associated with OCD.

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    Sources:

    http://www.ocdonline.com

    http://www.ocdproject.org

    http://www.ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/161/12/2201