Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Attaining and Maintaining Wellness in OCD

  • Are you taking one of the following medications for obsessive-compulsive disorder?
    • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
    • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
    • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
    • Sertraline (Zoloft)
    • Paroxetine (Paxil)
    • Citalopram (Celexa)
    • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Are you still having symptoms that bother you?
  • Are you interested in receiving no-cost psychotherapy that can improve your OCD symptoms?
  • Are you interested in learning if you still need medication after significant improvement with EX/RP therapy?

The Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety is offering treatment for people who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and are currently taking one of the above medications for their OCD but still have unwanted symptoms. 

Eligible participants remain on a stable dose of their OCD medication in the first part of the study, and will receive cognitive behavioral therapy consisting of Exposure and Ritual Prevention (EX/RP) twice a week for up to 12 weeks as additional treatment.  Participants who become well after the EX/RP will either continue their medication or begin to taper off their medication and have it gradually replaced with a placebo (sugar pill).  All patients will be carefully monitored throughout the second part of the study, which lasts 24 weeks. The goal of the study is to understand whether patients with OCD on Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SRIs) who receive EX/RP can discontinue their medication if they first do well with EX/RP. .

No one who has not become well after 12 weeks of EX/RP will discontinue their medication.  Individuals who do not improve will be referred elsewhere to receive appropriate clinical treatment.

This study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, is a collaboration between Dr. Edna Foa from the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Blair Simpson from Columbia University-New York State Psychiatric Institute.  Men and women ages 18-75 with OCD who are currently taking an SRI medication (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro or Anafranil) and who are not taking other psychotropic medications at the same time may be eligible to participate in this study.  There is no cost for the cognitive-behavioral therapy

For more information visit our website  If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety in Philadelphia at 215-746-3327.

If you are located in New York and are interested in participating, please contact Stephanie Chen at 646-774-8062 or

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