Adderall is a commonly prescribed medicine for ADD. Patients prescribed Adderall may also struggle with depression. In these cases, it’s important to know what antidepressant works best with Adderall.
The first thing to acknowledge is whether or not it’s safe to take antidepressants alongside ADD medication at all. Combining antidepressants with alcohol can be dangerous, and the same is true with Adderall. Some antidepressants, like MAOIs, should be completely avoided when taking Adderall. Other antidepressants, however, may pose less of a threat.
Another thing to consider is that there are antidepressants that also help with ADD and ADHD. We discuss these later in the article.
This article explains how different antidepressants affect Adderall and what antidepressant works best with it.
How Does Adderall Work?
To understand why certain antidepressants are safer than others, it’s important to learn how Adderall works in the brain.
Adderall causes the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of motivation, energy, and mood. Dopamine also encourages focus and concentration.
Adderall also influences other neurotransmitters, like norepinephrine. This is why it it is such a powerful stimulant.
It’s important to note that many people find Adderall itself works as an antidepressant. It provides energy, motivation, concentration, and improves mood. In fact, it has been used off-label as an anti-depressant.
What Is the Best Antidepressant for Adderall?
If you are going to be taking an antidepressant alongside your Adderall, you need to know which ones are safe.
Wellbutrin is believed to be an effective drug to use with Adderall. In addition, people have reported success using Prozac with Adderall, though there is no research to confirm.
No matter what, MAOIs should be avoided. MAOIs prevent the breakdown of brain chemicals like dopamine. If used alongside Adderall, which releases dopamine, this can cause toxic levels of dopamine.
Antidepressants for ADHD
Rather than combining an antidepressant with a powerful drug like Adderall, there’s an alternative. There are many antidepressants developed for people with ADHD.
These antidepressants can combat the symptoms of ADHD while helping to improve mood. These include:
- Wellbutrin (bupropion), a drug that is often prescribed to ADHD patients who do not respond well to stimulants like Adderall.
- Tricyclic antidepressants, which affect norepinephrine (adrenaline) and serotonin. Adderall helps to stimulate by increasing the amount of norepinephrine in the brain. Tricyclics can provide a similar benefit.
- MAOIs. As mentioned, MAOIs should not be taken with Adderall. If the two are combined, this extreme amount of dopamine overloads the brain and can cause damage. However, when MAOIs are used without Adderall, they may be helpful. By preventing the breakdown of dopamine, MAOIs can provide a similar, sustainable boost to focus and energy – much like Adderall.
- Venlafaxine (Effexor) is another drug used to treat both ADHD and depression.
There are many antidepressants out there. A number of them are prescribed for patients with both ADHD and depression.
Rather than trying to find a suitable antidepressant to mix with Adderall, it may be worthwhile to find a functional antidepressant that works to fight ADHD. Alternatively, you can try to learn how to overcome the need for antidepressants.