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General Medication Discussion This section is to be used for general medication discussion and other medications not broken out in their own respective forums.

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  #1  
Old 08-18-08, 03:42 PM
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Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

I'm curious to know if anyone has had a similar experience mixing stimulants and Antidepressants.

I've taken Adderall XR for about 3 months now and take 2x30mg a day. About a month and a half ago I started Effexor XR to treat my anxiety and mild depression. The Effexor has worked quite well I find, my anxiety has decreased significantly and my mood is a lot more stable. There have been a few problems though.

Before taking the Effexor the Adderall worked quite well. I felt motivated in school (summer classes), got work done in time and was fairly goal oriented. I'm not sure if there is a correlation, but since adding in the Effexor I find many of my ADHD symptoms are more pronounced.

My summer semester is divided into two 7 week semesters and I am taking 2 classes per semester. They take a regular 12 week semester and cram it in 7 weeks so it can be quite overwhelming. My second semester is when I started the Effexor. I find that my motivation is really poor. Even though I have an exam tomorrow, one on wednesday and a paper due on wednesday I am not able to sit down and focus. I would rather watch some movies with my girlfriend, or play guitar etc. Before if I felt the pressure I was able to lock everything out and study as much as I could.

I told my pdoc this 2 weeks ago and he gave me some dexedrine boosters to take 4 times a day as needed. They help quite a bit with my concentration, but still my motivation and my drive is not there. Without my boosters when I read my texts I find that I am skipping lines and not really ingesting what I need to. I am so distractible that I will read for 10 minutes, then check my e-mail, read the news, go out with the dog then go back to work.

I apologize for this lengthy post, but I am trying to figure out if anyone else has had a similar experience. My pdoc said that taking the Effexor may reduce the amount of Adderall I need to take but I find the exact opposite to be true.
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Old 08-18-08, 04:08 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

Most of them tend to, yes.
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Old 08-18-08, 04:20 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

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Originally Posted by Captain Sanity View Post
Most of them tend to, yes.
That's ridiculous. My first semester I had an A- average with just the adderall, and i'll be happy with a B average this semester.

That means I have to make a tradeoff between good grades and feeling less anxious and depressed?
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Old 08-18-08, 04:27 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

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That's ridiculous. My first semester I had an A- average with just the adderall, and i'll be happy with a B average this semester.

That means I have to make a tradeoff between good grades and feeling less anxious and depressed?
I'm facing very similar issues. I too, have ADHD with anxiety and depression. It's a real pain to handle all three together.
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Old 08-18-08, 04:57 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

What are you taking for depression and anxiety?

I'm a bit frustrated that my doctor never suggested Wellbutrin. He's great and really helpful but his specialty is in depression. It makes me think that he doesn't understand the depression and anxiety associated with ADHD.

Although I am always anxious (social anxiety too), my depression is sort of up and down. I don't wake up depressed, but when I get overwhelmed and frustrated I get depressed towards the end of the day. Some days will be fine, and others won't be so great. When I am depressed I tend to get stuck in a negative thought cycle where I worry about things and am overly critical of myself.

Either way, one would think the increase of norepinephrine would help ADHD symptoms not make them worse.
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Old 08-18-08, 06:57 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

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Originally Posted by timmtc View Post
What are you taking for depression and anxiety?
Nothing at the moment

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmtc View Post
I'm a bit frustrated that my doctor never suggested Wellbutrin. He's great and really helpful but his specialty is in depression. It makes me think that he doesn't understand the depression and anxiety associated with ADHD.

Although I am always anxious (social anxiety too), my depression is sort of up and down. I don't wake up depressed, but when I get overwhelmed and frustrated I get depressed towards the end of the day. Some days will be fine, and others won't be so great. When I am depressed I tend to get stuck in a negative thought cycle where I worry about things and am overly critical of myself.


Either way, one would think the increase of norepinephrine would help ADHD symptoms not make them worse.
Wellbutrin and Stimulants together would handle ADHD and depression but would increase anxiety.

Strattera and stimulants together would handle ADHD and anxiety but would increase depression.

Trying Wellbutrin, Strattera, and a stimulant together would produce some significant side effects. You would also need a high amount of all three to make it work.

When you try to raise serotonin via medication, dopamine/norephinephrine drops. And when you try to raise dopamine/norephinephrine via medication, serotonin drops.

Currently there is no combination of medications that solve ADHD, anxiety, depression all together effectively, safely, and with minimal side effects.
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Old 08-18-08, 07:34 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmtc View Post
That's ridiculous. My first semester I had an A- average with just the adderall, and i'll be happy with a B average this semester.

That means I have to make a tradeoff between good grades and feeling less anxious and depressed?
The levels of cognitive effect vary from person to person. Most antidepressants are anticholinogernic, but zoloft is not very bad in that area, and wellbutrin is likely to actually help with ADD. Some of the tricyclics are likely to help with ADD, as well.

You will just have to experiment. You might feel 'kinda washed out', braindead, or perfectly fine on a typical SSRI.

With most psychiatric things it seems to be about experimentation more than anything else, but I'm never taking another SSRI, that's for damned sure.


Also, st john's wort and 5htp are quite useful for antidepressants and amphetamine itself is a powerful antidepressant in most people.
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Old 08-18-08, 07:36 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmtc View Post
What are you taking for depression and anxiety?

I'm a bit frustrated that my doctor never suggested Wellbutrin. He's great and really helpful but his specialty is in depression. It makes me think that he doesn't understand the depression and anxiety associated with ADHD.

Although I am always anxious (social anxiety too), my depression is sort of up and down. I don't wake up depressed, but when I get overwhelmed and frustrated I get depressed towards the end of the day. Some days will be fine, and others won't be so great. When I am depressed I tend to get stuck in a negative thought cycle where I worry about things and am overly critical of myself.

Either way, one would think the increase of norepinephrine would help ADHD symptoms not make them worse.
Sounds like withdrawls to me. That's why it's good to keep the dose as low as you can, as long as you can.
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Old 08-18-08, 07:37 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

Im never taking an SSRI again either. I just started Wellbutrin SR (gonna go to XL screw this crap) on Saturday.
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Old 08-18-08, 07:53 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

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Im never taking an SSRI again either. I just started Wellbutrin SR (gonna go to XL screw this crap) on Saturday.
Dex + Wellbutrin might make your anxiety go up
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Old 08-18-08, 07:59 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

Sometimes the w does that to me, even when I take it alone. It's a ***** goddess, and I have to quit it once in a while and then when you start up you are back to square one.
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Old 08-18-08, 08:18 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

On anxiety forums the most commonly used drug seems to be benzodiazepines. Klonopin supposedly relieves anxiety all day with minimal negative effects on cognitive function, while short-acting benzos like Xanax are generally discouraged because of rebound anxiety and having to take multiple doses throughout the day.

Do note that coming off of benzos can be difficult once you have been taking them for a while. They should be tapered down gradually over time. Never stop them cold turkey as this can cause seizures!
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Old 08-18-08, 08:21 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

ssri's and benzos both will reduce attention.

ME
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Old 08-18-08, 08:30 PM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

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Originally Posted by Captain Sanity View Post
Sounds like withdrawls to me. That's why it's good to keep the dose as low as you can, as long as you can.
Sorry I should have been clearer. That was a description of my depression and anxiety without the Effexor.

When I started the Effexor the only real side effect I had for the first two weeks was exhaustion. I am wondering if my lack of motivation (in school, guitar etc) and my difficulty to sustain my focus is perhaps due to a general decrease in my energy levels. I am wondering if even though the exhaustion has lifted the Effexor is dragging down my energy level. As a result I feel less inclined to study hard because I just feel like relaxing and doing absolutely nothing.

I guess I am wondering if this is something specific to Effexor or to SSRI's, SNRI's in general. Or perhaps there is a better drug that doesn't decrease energy levels as much as Effexor does.
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Old 08-19-08, 12:27 AM
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Re: Do Antidepressants make ADHD symptoms worse?

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Originally Posted by speedo View Post
ssri's and benzos both will reduce attention.

ME
Not always. If the attention deficit is rooted in anxiety or depression, then a benzo or an ssri could very well improve someone's attention.

But if the anxiety and depression stems from ADHD then it's probably best to start with a stimulant.

To the OP: I took the SNRI reboxetine for a month and I too felt fatigued but I also had a sense of uneasiness. I think it's because it increased my anxiety levels and that alone can make one feel fatigued. I noticed that if I smoke cigarettes it also makes me anxious and tired, and all I feel like doing is laying down. That's one of the reasons I quit smoking. Even the day after I quit, I felt like I had ten times as much energy.
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