28 Nov If you have ADHD and take antidepressants, this is important info
SSRI’s are one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants and a huge number of people with ADHD are prescribed them to help with both depression and anxiety.
So I was shocked when I heard more than one very highly regarded ADHD expert state that over time they can worsen cognitive function, therefore making ADHD symptoms worse.
Examples of very commonly prescribed SSRIs are Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine) and Lexapro (escitalopram) but there are many more.
IMPORTANT: Don’t suddenly stop taking your medication if you are concerned about this. Just as you need to start slow and build up gradually with these medications, you also need to reduce the dose slowly when stopping them. You should never do so anyway, without discussing this with your Doctor.
The problem is, there’s a lot of information out there from reputable websites and even ones that doctors use that recommend SSRIs for people with ADHD… This is because there are countless holes in the evidence I’m afraid.
Check out these resources:
In this video: Rakesh Jain, a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry who has been involved in the development of many of the medications that are available for ADHD, explains that SSRIs can make cognition worse for people with ADHD at approx. 42 minutes.
This webinar about women, hormones and ADHD is by the Vice Chair of CADDRA, the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance, Dr Sarah Binder. She states that SSRIs often worsen ADHD symptoms over time at approx. 33 minutes 30 seconds.
And finally, this research study abstract states that SSRIs “often aggravate ADHD symptoms.”
I have also heard experts say that there are alternatives so ask your doctor about these. I really hope that this info is helpful. Getting medications right is not always easy, however, when we’re armed with good info, it can make it a lot easier.