The use of antidepressants to treat ADD and ADHD does not necessarily imply that having attention deficit disorder means that you are suffering from depression.
Though that is sometimes the case antidepressants inherently have some qualities which help with ADD and ADHD treatment.They also offer the advantage over stimulants in that they last for longer periods of time.
Tricyclic Anti-Depressants such as Tofranil, also known as Imipramine, or Norpramin, also known as Desipramine are often used when stimulants cannot be used, or have shown a history of negative side effects requiring discontinuation of the medication.
Often if the beneficial effects of the stimulant medication are short lived a switch to Anti-Depressants may be considered.
Other Anti-Depressants include Elavil, Pamelor, Anafranil, Wellbutrin and Prozac.
If an individual has health concerns such as high anxiety, depression, heart problems or a family history of Tourette’s disorder often antidepressants are considered in place of the stimulants.
Quite the opposite of stimulants, the Anti-Depressants can be taken before bed often resulting in a much better nights sleep for those suffering from anxiety or depression as part of their ADD or ADHD symptoms.
Most Tricyclic anti-depressants come in 10, 25, 50 and 100 milligram sizes. When taken once a day ADD and ADHD symptoms should significantly lessen within the first three weeks of taking the medication, often within the first 10 to 14 days, and remain stable thereafter.
The use of anti-depresents both frequently and significantly reduce both hyperactivity and aggression. Changes can be the greatest for those with symptoms of depression and can reduce levels of irritability and improve sleeping patterns.
Side effects from Anti-Depressants are usually insignificant, however they can include:
- Dry mouth
- Increased Blood Pressure
Cardiac health should be closely monitored with Anti-Depressant medications as it has been known to slow intra-cardiac conduction especially when taking higher dosages.
Anti-Depressants do not seem to be as effective as Stimulants in the areas of improving concentration in ADD and ADHD diagnosed patients. For this reason Stimulants and Antidepressants are sometimes used in conjunction with each other for certain individuals. However stimulants can slow the metabolism of the antidepressant, thereby increasing the amount in your blood supply. This is considered to be in no way dangerous and is thought to be a relatively safe procedure.