Which antidepressants are effective in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Updated: Oct 01, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Recent data suggest that bupropion or venlafaxine may be effective. Dosages are similar to those used to treat depression.

Tricyclic antidepressants (imipramine, desipramine, nortriptyline) have been found effective in numerous studies in children with ADHD; however, because of potential adverse effects, they are rarely used for this purpose. If these agents are used, obtain a baseline ECG because these agents can affect cardiac conduction. A few reports have described sudden death in boys taking desipramine, but the exact cause of death was unclear and may have been unrelated to desipramine use.

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