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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is inositol effective for OCD?

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  • 1

    Thanks

    Offers information and education advice about protecting mental health, mutual support and advocacy services. View Profile

    Studies have shown inositol to be highly effective in the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder, due to its serotonin-boosting properties. Inositol has been found to be effective in relieving symptoms of OCD.

  • Anthony Berrick

    Psychologist

    A small study of 13 patients with OCD (Fux et al 1996) found that inositol was superior to placebo and comparable to Prozac. However, two subsequent studies (Seedat & Stein, 1999 and Fux et al, 1999) found that augmenting serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) treatment with inositol provided no additional benefit to SRI treatment alone.

    Since then, there have not been any studies that I can find (please correct me if I'm wrong) that have looked at inositol in the treatment of OCD, so I think it would be fair to say that the evidence is fairly limited.

    The Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria (ADAVIC) provides the following information:

    "Effective evidence-based treatments for OCD fall into two categories:

    1) Antidepressant medications acting on the serotonin system, including the SSRI antidepressants and Clomipramine, have been shown in reliable studies to reduce the symptoms by 30% to 50% in approximately two thirds of patients.  Medications often help, but have relatively limited benefit and are best used to reduce symptoms of OCD, anxiety and depression and allow introduction of CBT approaches.
    2) ​Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) methods: Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) tends to be the most effective therapy, giving significant and long-term benefits for up to 80% of those who practice it.  ERP involves the person exposing themselves to situations that provoke their anxiety but not performing their usual compulsive rituals. This allows the anxiety to decline naturally by itself.  Exposure tasks are set, for example, repeated touching of items such as door handles without washing, and gradually leading to exposure of more difficult items such as touching the mail, shaking hands, and eventually touching bins, toilets and related items.  Exposure therapy is successful when the tasks are performed in a slow, gradual manner with consultation and agreement between the person and therapist.  Support groups and self-help books can assist in this process."

  • 1

    Agree

    Damien Haines

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Damien Haines is a registered Clinical Psychologist who brings a warm and empathetic approach to therapy. He emphasises engagement in the world and encourages clients … View Profile

    From the NICE Guidelines http://www.nice.org.uk/CG031

    “6.10.4 Inositol versus placebo
    6.10.4.1 Clinical evidence statements
    Efficacy
    The evidence is inconclusive and so it is not possible to determine if there is a clinically important difference between inositol and placebo on the efficacy of treatment.”


    “6.11.5.4 Other strategies for refractory OCD
    Inositol (18 g/day) is an experimental compound that acts through intracellular messenger systems. It was thought to have mild anti-obsessional efficacy but results from a placebo controlled augmentation study by Fux and colleagues (1999) refute this. Sumatriptan is a 5HT1D agonist used to treat migraine. A small open case series suggested improvement over 4 weeks of treatment but, in a double-blind placebo-controlled study of 10 patients, 5-day treatment was associated with a worsening of OCD (Koran et al., 2001).”


    So I'd say no. This link http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/10976/29949/29949.pdf has good information about what has good evidence for treatment. The Full Guideline (obtained from initial link) has everything that was investigated - ie what does and does not work based on available evidence. 

    The NICE Guidelines are a great resource and free too!

  • Anonymous

    Btw, why I take 13gr and not less or more? More then 13gr aggrivates my health (you notice it), less is not effective. If you get the powder, make sure to get a cheap but precise weightscale of ebay or something too so you're not guessing every day to get your dose right.

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