Obsessive compulsive disorder

1st choiceNon-pharmacological treatment
2nd choicesCitalopram tablets 10mg, 20mg, 40mg [unlicensed indication]

Dose: 20mg one daily. If necessary increase the dose gradually up to a maximum of 40mg once a day day (20mg in the elderly and in those with reduced hepatic function)

Fluoxetine capsules 20mg; liquid 20mg/5ml

20mg once daily; if inadequate response after 2 weeks increase gradually to max 60mg once daily

(elderly usual max 40mg once daily but 60mg can be used)

Sertraline tablets 50mg, 100mgDose:
Initially 50mg daily, increased if necessary in steps of 50mg at intervals of at least one week; max 200mg daily

Prescribing Notes

  • Refer to OCD, NICE CG 31.
  • The licensed doses of SSRIs in OCD are generally higher than doses used for the treatment of depression.
  • Improvement of OCD may not be apparent for 12 weeks. Treatment should be continued for at least 12 months. Long-term maintenance is often necessary.
  • Clomipramine and SSRIs have proven efficacy in OCD but clomipramine is associated with more adverse effects.


See cautions  here.