Antipsychotic Medications Are Causing Obsessive Compulsive Disorders


Common second-generation antipsychotic medications are causing symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder to emerge in many people who previously only had schizophrenia symptoms, according to a review of the medical literature published in Current Psychiatry Reports. In some cases, the researchers wrote, these symptoms are occurring for the first time, or significantly worsening, in nearly half of patients, or causing “full threshold Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.”

Researchers from the Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and University of Toronto reviewed experimentally-designed, peer-reviewed articles published in English from 1960 to 2014. They found, “evidence of the role of both olanzapine and, more robustly, clozapine in the induction and worsening of OCS [obsessive compulsive symptoms] in schizophrenia.”

“Our findings suggest that clozapine confers the greatest risk of OCS in schizophrenia, with 20 to 28% of clozapine-treated patients experiencing de novo OCS, in addition to 10 to 18% incurring an exacerbation of pre-existing OCS,” concluded the researchers. “Clozapine can also yield full threshold obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), in some cases. Olanzapine is another high risk drug for secondary OCS which occurs in 11 to 20% of schizophrenic patients receiving olanzapine therapy.”

The researchers did not find enough research evidence to characterize the effects of other second-generation antipsychotics.

(Abstract) Second Generation Antipsychotic-Induced Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms in Schizophrenia: A Review of the Experimental Literature (Fonseka, Trehani M. et al. Current Psychiatry Reports. September 2014, 16:510. DOI: 10.1007/s11920-014-0510-8)


  1. They are, in the same way as alcohol abuse does, and to relieve the OCD the person has to take more of the substance. The difference is that anti psychotics are more unpleasant and toxic than alcohol (and that they are promoted by doctors).

    The anti psychotics are also now being given for ‘vague reasons’ to lots of people, creating more and more long term sick people.

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      • Exactly. If this study gains any traction then just watch and see how we all begin hearing that “schizophrenics” develop OCD at higher rates with the implication being ‘oh what a terrible disease.”

        Just another predictable fraud by psychiatry. How we’re told now that “bipolar” and “schizophrenia” may be different manifestations of the same underlying pathology because both their brains are shrinking after being put on neuroleptics. How we’ve heard for years now that “bipolar” disorder in children often manifests as “ADHD” before the “underlying illess breaks through.”

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  2. Ironic as always with psychiatry, because these drugs have become the first line of treatment for OCD in children and adults. Of course they all get worse, but then that is blamed on their underlying illness. as always. Decade after decade… it’s allowed to just keep going on and on and on…

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  3. Another piece of evidence that antipsychotics cause tremendously challenging “side effects”….although there are so many it might be smarter to call them “main effects.”

    Here…take zyprexa…there’s a one in five chance you’ll develop debilitating obsessions and compulsions…don’t skip a dose!

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    • …and that is only a small part of possible side effects. I’ve been given like 20 different meds in the scope of 2yrs and not a single one didn’t have very serious mental and/or physical side effects. And I only took them for maximum one month (I congratulate myself on being that smart about it). Zyprexa was one of the worst – restless leg syndrome, “narcolepsy” (I don’t know how else you call falling asleep regardless of external circumstances within 15-30minutes of a “very small” drug dose – external circumstances including busy traffic and rock concert – no kidding), overeating, tiredness, mental fog and of course withdrawal (complete emotional roller-coster up to two weeks after a single “low dose”).
      And they’re putting kids and elderly on it because they have “behavioural issues which are difficult to control”. Disgusting.

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  4. I hadn’t ever checked out the Wikipedia entry on Zyprexa…but there’s a strong piece in there about discontinuation withdrawal symptoms and the need for a slow taper as well as a mention of Icarus…good stuff. It also describes severe complications of the drug in full which is nice to see. This piece on instigating “OCD” needs to be added.

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        • There’s a very good reason for slow: withdrawal.

          I agree that any continuation is continuing the damage but have you been on them for any length of time and then just stopped taking them ?

          I am trying to get my son off this toxic rubbish. Some NHS idiot put him on these meds and then stopped them suddenly and my son went beserk with a host of brand new symptoms which got him hospitalised on more meds. Eventually, much later, back in my care after 6 attempts in court, we are making small reductions every few weeks, but even then for the week or two after a reduction we have problems, which then subside.

          The human body fights any external interference in order to maintain its own ‘balance’. If it’s been fighting the effects of these toxins for any length of time in order to try and maintain function then it is apparent the body (and mind) needs time to realise it can stop fighting and re-adjust.

          Psychiatry’s disregard for this fact has cost my son several years of life and unimaginable (to non MIA readers) trauma.

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          • “have you been on them for any length of time and then just stopped taking them?”
            Yes, it is a literal hell, but my preferred method.

            At the age of 19 I was diagnosed with serious mental illness and drugged in hospital for several months.
            I had my own apartment for 17 years until it was repossessed by the new building owner for his own son. I am now 46.

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        • Mark. Good to hear you got off them yourself, and quickly, and before it was too late.

          But I take issue with your suggestion that its up to my son. You assume adequate capacity and rationale. If he were a heroin addict should I shrug and say it’s up to him, or do my utmost to intervene on the basis that his capacity and rationale have been distorted by his addiction?

          Has he been able to spend hundreds of hours reading the countless studies and articles on the consequences of taking neuroleptics? Or read the numerous accounts written by psychiatric survivors detailing their own experiences and opinions? Or has he been sitting rocking backwards and forwards wondering what his name is, incapable of reading anything, in a drug induced mental fog designed to shut him down?

          At times we need help. When we do, we must hope that we have someone who knows us well and will act in our best interests and hopefully in the way that we would act if we could do it ourselves.

          Of course it should be up to him, but he’s now so screwed by the system he can’t possibly do it on his own. The megalomaniac drug pushers have made it so. He was a straight A student, rational, hungry for knowledge and emotionally intelligent. If I am making a decision for him, I am making the one I believe he would make for himself had his appalling entanglement with psychiatry not currently prevented him from doing so.

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  5. I was prescribed zyprexia once for a sleep aid. It did work for that but my son looked it up online and it said it was an anti-psychotic med which seemed outrageous that the MD had prescribed that for sleeping issues. It also said it could make your blood sugar soar,perhaps giving you diabetes. I told the MD who dismissed anything I said. I ceased taking it and just wondered if the MD got a great kickback from the pharmaceutical salesman for prescribing it instead of a simpler cheaper sleeping pill.

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  6. I got Homosexual OCD

    and OCD about harming my body (not harming myself, but images of unpleasent accidents that involved a torture-like pain) from taking Seroquel. I never had any psychotic episodes before taking the medicine – my psychatrist failed to recognize the OCD and said I was now schizotypal instead. He didn’t take the cramps and psychosis I got in the hours after I took the medicine seriously. He thought I was only imagining it.

    The OCD got worse and worse over a long period of taking the medication. I believed what the psychiatrist had told me, so I thought the OCD was an unsolvable disease in my brain, while it was in fact the effect of the medicine.

    After finally being lucky and getting cognitive therapy with a psychologist, she instantly recognized my thoughts as being OCD. I quit Seroquel half a year ago and the OCD has gotten much better, and I think I will one day get rid of it fully.

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  7. Thanks for posting this!

    OCD is one of the “gifts” psychiatry gave me. I used to be a little perfectionistic, but didn’t have OCD at all. Until I was started on antipsychotics for a simple adjustment disorder with anxiety. Zyprexa especially caused problems: chronic psychosis, anxiety, mood disorder, anger and extreme OCD.

    After 5 years of psychiatry the reason for my anxiety is long gone. But I’m completely disfunctional because of psychiatric meds and “treatment” (abuse).

    On meds I’m an obsessive, depressed zombie. I can’t feel love, joy, empathy, pleasure, spirituality. All I do is sleep, eat and surf the internet. Off meds I’m crazy. I’m extremely obsessive, depressed and psychotic.

    I was never like this. I had a temporary problem – anxiety for a threatening ex. Psychiatry stole my life. And for my son, they stole his mother.

    And i don’t know where to turn to now… psychiatry refuses to acknowledge how they themselves caused my problems. They are even trying to diagnose me with AUTISM now! Partly because of my obsessiveness. All my family and friends and care givers are shocked about that, because I was never like that before starting on meds.

    I used to be a normal woman before psychiatry… now I’m a wreck.

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  8. Oddly enough this article gives me some relief. Why? Because it makes me feel justified. After being put on 10 mg of Haldol, then Stellazine I developed a really annoying case of OCD that made people hate to be around me (in addition to mini-seizures and eyes rolling back in my head.) For years, shrinks insisted that I should be on that stuff. When they allowed me to go off the older antipsychotics the OCD symptoms were greatly reduced. Now I’m off antipsychotics completely. 🙂
    Unfortunately I was kicked out of college first because my dorm mom claimed I wasn’t meds compliant. Little did she know! I felt I had to let her know about my diagnosis because I couldn’t control the seizures or conceal them all the time (obviously.)
    Those shrinks can claim my OCD was caused by my “illness.” What they can’t explain is why I didn’t have those symptoms before and don’t have them now. No wonder they worry about us going off our “meds.”

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