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N-acetylcystein (NAC) is an amino acid available over the counter (the Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods, etc.) that has been studied and revealed to have beneficial effects for trichotillomania and OCD. My DS has been taking it for OCD for the last year or so.

 

I would also recommend Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy.

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Trichotillomania has been my son's main residual problem for the last few years. Actually, it has never gone away since (it was the first ocd thing to show up) in 2004. It is heartbreaking- he has no school pictures since 2nd grade where he is sporting brows/lashes. We tried NAC over the summer but unfortunately it wasn't a cure. It may have helped some, but the pulling was always there. I have tried supplements but nothing helps. My son had his first IVIG infusion January 6 (low dose). For the first time, he has lost the compulsion to pull! He has brows beginning to grow in. And I see little lash nubbins growing in as well. He is on azithromycin. Dr. K. told me in an email that he has had kids with trich. recover from this with ivig.

 

 

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I would do whatever it takes to get rid of trich for your dear child--

Trich is one of the hardest compulsions to control(though not everyone sees it as OCD!) -- I have known people who have literally pulled their hair for 30+ years with no solution.

 

If you see this continuing, for your son's sake try everything you can to help him stop or he will continue. IVIG is a small price to pay compared to the agony that he will go through for the rest of his life if this is not stopped.

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How do we know how to dose this NAC? Is it on the bottle? Does it come in liquid? My son use to do the hair pulling and eyelash pulling. It did stop after his first ivig. However, now we have something that is in the same "family" of OCD. He rips apart his fingernails until they are so low that they bleed. His fingers look horrible and I am worried he will lose all of his fingernails. I have tried wrapping them up with bandages or bandaids. He will take them off. It is troubling.

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How do we know how to dose this NAC? Is it on the bottle? Does it come in liquid? My son use to do the hair pulling and eyelash pulling. It did stop after his first ivig. However, now we have something that is in the same "family" of OCD. He rips apart his fingernails until they are so low that they bleed. His fingers look horrible and I am worried he will lose all of his fingernails. I have tried wrapping them up with bandages or bandaids. He will take them off. It is troubling.

 

As you most likely know--hand-in-hand with trichotillomania goes "skin picking" issues...These issues can often morph into other areas of the body and infection is an obvious concern.

 

I remember Dr K asking us (a few years ago now) if we would be "OK" with our d being the "way she was" as an adult--and when you consider skin picking or hair pulling it is not a comfortable picture certainly for anyone--

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I did a quick search on pubmed, and found these. I didn't read them yet. The first looks like basic information, but I am very interested in the third article about impulse control.

 

 

Getting a Knack for NAC

N-Acetyl-Cysteine:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3036554/?tool=pmcentrez

 

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Glutamatergic Synaptic Dysfunction and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3036554/?tool=pmcentrez

 

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The Neurobiology and Genetics of Impulse Control Disorders: Relationships to Drug Addictions:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2222549/?tool=pmcentrez

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