Pharmacologic treatments for pica are successful for many patients. The drugs are used to enhance dopaminergic functioning and can act as a refractory to forms of behavioral intervention. Comorbid pica has been shown to be relatively simple to control with certain management medications. Although there are no standard treatments for pica disorder, case studies have shown that some drugs are ideal based on effectiveness.
Atypical anti-psychotic drugs, such as olanzapine, clozapine, and risperidone have shown to be successful in the treatment of pica.
Olanzapine: Olanzapine is a drug typically used to treat the symptoms of various mental illnesses that cause a loss of interest in life, unusual thinking, or inappropriate emotions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Olanzapine works by changing the activity of certain substances in the brain.
Clozapine: Clozapine is yet another drug used to treat the symptoms of mental illness by transforming natural substance activities in the brain. This drug, as well as Olanzapine, belongs to a class of atypical antipsychotics that are sometimes used in pica patients to help change the way they see certain materials and reduce their bad eating habits.
Risperidone: Risperidone is used to treat the symptoms associated with manic states and bipolar disease. It is also prescribed to children with autism to help sooth irritability problems. Risperidone can be used to treat the symptoms of pica disorder, as well as some of the underlying causes, including depression and psychotic factors.
In some cases, the use of these isolated drugs can cause the pica disorder to diminish. Once this occurs, the medication can be stopped. Some patients require a three to nine month drug therapy while others may only need a short duration of time, depending on the severity of their pica.