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NAC for OCD: Unexpected side-effects

nac ocd

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#1 Mnemonicsmoke

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 03:24 PM

After incredible difficulty dealing with OCD (nearly purely obsessional) I began trying supplements such as inositol, ashwaghanda, and curcumin and while they seemed to help, they didn't seem to help very much with OCD (more so with my mood) and when they did help they did so sporadically. SRI's were not an option as they inflamed my Bipolar symptoms and led to instability (although inositol did not). 

So after reading about Memantine (from this forum, actually) I became obsessed with finding effective glutamate modulators.

I researched about it and because I was unable to acquire Memantine, I obtained NAC. The first time I only took it for a month and noticed no improvement (no worsening either) However I became impatient and used my money instead on Inositol (as it did help my well being). 

Anyways, after reading over and over that NAC took about 3 months to work in multiple types of illnesses (COPD, OCD, trichotillomania) I decided that there was more to the anecdotal reports of people finding effects within days, weeks.

So again I began taking NAC (1200mg x2). Again there was no worsening, nor benefit for the first month but when the trial neared two months I began noticing it was much easier to un-glue myself from my obsessions and my doubt decreased. However, there were also unexpected side effects I definitely did not expect!

I have a very poor sense of smell/taste, I can eat anything at all, and sadly for my girlfriend I don't appreciate her cooking as much as she'd like. However, during this same period that my OCD symptoms began to reduce, my smell/taste and also touch began to markedly improve. Suddenly I started being picky about foods, and foods that tasted good before tasted incredible!

At this same time I ended a four year long record of anorgasmia. Something about a psychotic/manic episode (and subsequent dissociative depression) led to me being unable to experience orgasm. Perhaps there was another cause? I could still have sex and even ejaculate but as far as experiencing an orgasm I had been deprived for very long time. 
Anyways, during this improvement of ocd, and betterment of senses, i could orgasm again and even now that improvement persists. 

There were some unpleasant side effects as well. about 4-7 days after this sudden improvement I also began to feel somewhat cognitively dull. Having OCD and wanting to be better I sometimes spent 8 hours a day researching online, trying to find solutions. I found that once the symptoms had improved I could not maintain that kind of focus, reading scientific papers of which I had to do multiple searches to even understand became very difficult. I became sleepy, my drive to research very blunted.

Caffeine seemed to work very little and not for very long, for some reason Cannabis ameliorated this fog better than caffeine. However Cannabis also makes me sleepy afterwards...heh

Little later I was able to get my hands on some Sarcosine and though i'm not sure it was coincidence or not, Sarcosine helped rid of the fogginess without affecting any of the other improvements and also appears to magnify the improvements for OCD on NAC. There is likely something to it as I had been a foggy state for about 2 weeks and since i took sarcosine the fogginess has disappeared for the past week i've been taking it (700-2100mg)

This could all be coincidence unrelated to NAC, there have been times where my smell/taste improved but never for this long. There was one occassion when I had an orgasm about 1.5 years ago but it did not repeat.

Really not sure glutamate would relate to that...Nonetheless...very interesting were there a connection.


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#2 JR7

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 10:25 PM

I know this is a couple years old, but I'd love to hear if you were able to find relief from your purely obsession symptoms? 

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#3 Catwoman

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 07:30 PM

Curious to how you are faring now as well. I just started with NAC yesterday (to help with intrusive thoughts). Some report fast relief with NAC, others say to give it at least a month. Other from some mild stomach ache I dont feel it is doing anything good or bad.
I read that for OCD you have to take at least 1200 mg a day. I have 500 mg capsules so I would go for 2 caps in the morning on an empty stomach and 1 cap (late) afternoon.
Hopefully I will notice effect on my mood en obsessive thinking soon..

#4 Jesus is King

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 02:49 AM

Very interesting post op. I suffer from OCD, Anhedonia, Ejaculatory Anhedonia, CPTSD, Emotional Flashbacks, and Paranoia. I started taking Sarcosine & NAC from profrontal.com for around the last 2 months. I take 500mg of each because more can cause me to become irritability. I also cover all my vitamins and minerals in my morning stack, and take gingko and ginger.


So here are the things I've observed:


1. Motivation Power! This is hands down the best combo for motivation I've ever tried out of taking 100's of supplements over the last 15 years. I just get on with things and am way more productive in my life. This stack definitely makes work mentally easier, you just have the drive like no other. Also it doesn't give me brain fog either.


2. Anhedonia. I will say I do feel more. I'm more happy and perky so to speak. More excited about things. I think it does work. But I find it very hard to distinguish unless I really reflect between my emotional and lack of emotional states.


2a. I will actually say it does work for anhedonia. Because I recently took a break because of a side effect I was getting, and I started googling stuff like bored of life (lol), but now I'm back on it, I don't have that, I've got things I need to get on with and want to get on with, and I also think music is more enjoyable now.


3. I'll mention the side effect I had and why I came off it for a couple of weeks and only recently came back on. I went to the hairdressers, and I just couldn't shut up, but I also couldn't recognize I couldn't shut up. I just went from subject to subject to subject, videos games, tasty food I had recently, the gym, all sorts of subjects. Only when I got high that night did I recognize my yapper. So I took a couple of weeks break, and I sure came down to my normal anhedonic self.


4. Caffeine from coke. I've been drinking Coke Cherry as a way to supercharge my productivity for my work with this combo (NAC & sarcosine), and it really works. So much energy and motivation, so much work I've gotten done. I actually think this caffeine addition was the thing that pushed me over the talking too much edge, because since being back on the combo I've moved house and have no cokes in my fridge (thus 0 caffeine intake), and I'm in much more control of my yapper with people. But if you want super motivation (caffeine + sarcosine + NAC) will give you so much mental energy, you can work all day and get so much done. 


5. Same with the OP, I've had change in taste. For example some food tastes freaking amazing, and some food I stop eating and put back or throw away. Yesterday it was half an eaten Aldi pepperami, just an hour ago it was a half eaten packet of Walkers BBQ Pulled Pork crisps. If it doesn't taste good to me now, I don't continue eating it. Whereas before I would have probably finished it to not waste food. On the other side, some food just taste freaking amazing, I don't overeat it or anything, just that now if it's a good meal, I really enjoy the flavours.


6. I think I've felt a bit more in control of my OCD. But you noticed it after 2 months, I've just hit that point, and my doses are lower than yours. But I do feel my OCD may be improving.


7. I think falling a sleep is easier.


At this same time I ended a four year long record of anorgasmia. Something about a psychotic/manic episode (and subsequent dissociative depression) led to me being unable to experience orgasm. 

I could still have sex and even ejaculate but as far as experiencing an orgasm I had been deprived for very long time. 


Now this is what I'm interested in!


I've been unable to experience an orgasm for the last 15 years! And you were only taking NAC and not sarcosine at the time. The main reason I started that combo was to see if I could restore orgasm, and maybe help me feel more again (reduce anhedonia). Well it is helping me feel more, but orgasm has not been restored. Though I had a a 2 of 10 orgasm in a recent sex session, but none since then (but I also came off the combo for a couple of weeks and am only back on it now).


The great thing about your post, is you pinpointed it to NAC, which is good news for me, because irritability in higher doses is associated with sarcosine. And a quick google search shows NAC can reduce irritability in autism! So starting tomorrow I'm tripling my dose to 1500mg NAC, and keeping sarcosine at 500mg. I might even have to get some higher doses of NAC, as I see the OP was taking 2400mg a day.


The thing I find most crazy is how similar the OP's story is to mine, his symptoms/conditions, and noted effects from the supplements, it's uncanny. He should get an award for this post, and it's been here for the last 5 years, damn.

Edited by TempBannedNotComingBack, 11 August 2019 - 02:51 AM.

#5 Jesus is King

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:49 PM



helps achieve orgasm if you are on anti-depressant like Prozac Posted on October 29 2011 |  Verified Purchase
I take Prozac which is a fantastic antidepressant but the side effect is that although I get erection, I cannot achieve orgasm, probably due to low levels of histamine. I take one tablet of L-Histidine 30 mins before sex and the problem is resolved. For boost in the erection department, I combine it with a few capsules of ginkgo biloba which seems to help slightly with erection and somehow mitigate the anorgasmia side effect of prozac. The main help for achieving orgasm is L-Histidine though not the ginkgo.




I might have to look into histidine also. I wonder if NAC, Histidine, and Sarcosine can reduce my OCD and restore orgasm.

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#6 Jesus is King

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Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:01 PM



The rate of sexual dysfunction (SD) was determined in 65.4% of OCD patients and 28.3% of the control group. While anorgasmia was the most reported complaint in females with OCD (51.2 %), hypoactive sexual desire was the most reported in males with OCD (18.2 %). ASEX scores of sexual desire, excitement, vaginal lubrication, orgasm and orgasmic satisfaction were found to be significantly higher in females with OCD compared to healthy subjects.While erectile dysfunction was found significantly higher in healthy males compared to OCD patients, no significant difference was found between the two groups for other sexual functions.


Hmm interesting. 51.2% is a huge number, albeit in females.


I think if I look into curing my OCD, I might fix my ejaculatory anhedonia I've experienced the last 15 years.




I'm actually trying out NAC and Sarcosine together and it would seem that after 2.3 months on NAC and one week on Sarcosine my OCD is reduced 85-95% (subjectively lol). 


This is an OP quote from a post 2 days before he created this topic.


So OP subjectively reduced his OCD 85-95% and restored his orgasm in 2.3 months on NAC 1200mg x 2 (i don't know whether he means twice a day, or taking 2x 1200mg capsules at the same time), but his total dose was 2400mg.

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