NAC Dosage for OCD

In my last blog post, I explained how NAC (N-acetylcysteine) supplements may be able to relieve the symptoms of OCD. This blog post discusses what the available research shows about the appropriate NAC dosage for OCD.

This post was written by Lindsay Delk, RDN. It is for informational purposes and is not intended to replace medical advice or instructions given by your healthcare provider. 

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Hand writing OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on a chalkboard

NAC Dosage for OCD

In the available studies, the NAC dosage for OCD and OCD-related disorders, such as trichotillomania (hair pulling), skin picking, and nail biting, varies between 1,200 to 3,000 mg per day. This amount is usually divided into two doses.

A systematic review published in Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience provides a little more guidance.

  • The review found that NAC was effective at reducing the severity of symptoms in OCD and OCD-related disorders without many side effects.
  • The studies worked up to doses of 2,400-3,000 mg/day.
  • The patients took the NAC supplements for at least 8 to 12 weeks.

Future studies may show that you need a higher dose for the best results, or they may show you get the maximum results at a lower dose. But this is what we know know.

"NAC N-Acetylcysteine" in white letters on a blurry light blue background for NAC dosage

How Much NAC To Take for OCD

Research hasn’t nailed down how much NAC to take for OCD. But based on the available research:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider before you start taking NAC. Discuss the proper dosage for you and the potential risks. Don’t stop your medications, therapy, or other treatments unless directed by your doctor.
  • Start with 600 mg/day and gradually work up to 2,400-3,000 mg/day.
  • Divide this amount into two doses per day. You would eventually be taking 1,200-1,500 mg in the morning and 1,200-1,500 mg at bedtime.
  • Take the NAC supplements on an empty stomach if possible.
  • Take the supplements consistently for 8 to 12 weeks to see if your symptoms improve.

Where To Buy NAC

My family uses NOW supplements because I trust the brand and they are affordable. NOW NAC is available in 1,000 mg tablets and 600 mg tablets, so you can split your dose as needed. I have also been able to find NAC at the Whole Foods in my area.

The letters "OCD" among other scattered letters

Other OCD Posts

NAC for OCD

Ashwagandha: An Ayurvedic Treatment for OCD, Anxiety, & Stress

Psychonutrition: Feeding Your Mind

Anti-Inflammatory Food List PDF (Free Printable)

Bottom Line

NAC supplements show promising results in helping OCD symptoms. It’s critical to treat them as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, rather than a standalone solution. The best NAC dosage and its effects can vary based on the individual, and you should only take NAC under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Future research may refine these dosage recommendations, but for now, starting with 600 mg and gradually increasing to 2,400-3,000 mg/day seems to be the most effective approach.

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