Despite the variety of medication treatments that exist for OCD, some patients do not respond well to them and experience little to no reduction in their symptoms.
This study by Dr. Koran and his team aimed to test whether adding dextroamphetamine (d-amphetamine; a stimulant) versus caffeine (a stimulant) to a course of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) treatment would make SSRIs or SNRIs more effective for people with OCD. 12 participants with OCD were assigned to take 30 mg/day of d-amphetamine with their SSRI/SNRI over the course of five weeks, while 12 participants with OCD were assigned to take 300 mg/day of caffeine with their SSRI/SNRI. After the first week, six patients in the d-amphetamine group and seven patients in the caffeine group were responders; this response continued to the end of week 5. By that point, OCD symptoms in the d-amphetamine group decreased by an average of 48%; in the caffeine group, symptoms decreased by 55%. This study demonstrated the potential of the use of both stimulants to enhance SSRI/SNRI treatment for OCD.
*Koran LM, Aboujaoude E, Gamel NN. Double-blind study of dextroamphetamine versus caffeine augmentation in treatment- resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder, J Clin Psychiatry 2009;70;1530-1535