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ADHD in Children Health Center

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Drug Combinations to Treat ADHD in Children


For children and teens who also have mood issues, doctors may prescribe antidepressant drugs along with a stimulant.

These drugs aren't specifically approved for ADHD, but studies show they help control symptoms such as hyperactivity and aggression. These antidepressants include:

Tofranil (imipramine) and Pamelor (nortriptyline). These are called tricyclic antidepressants.

Side effects of these drugs can include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain

Wellbutrin and Zyban (bupropion). These drugs can help improve mood in children and teens with ADHD and agitation or aggression.

Side effects include irritability and trouble sleeping in some children, although that is less common in the extended-release forms.

Effexor (venlafaxine). This drug, in its extended-release form, can also be used for children with ADHD and mood issues. Sleep cycle and weight gain need to be monitored.

Children who already take a MAO inhibitor antidepressant should not take these medications.

Your doctor might try different medicines to find the ones that work best for your child. During treatment the doctor will regularly monitor your child's progress, as well as check your child's height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure.

Let your doctor know if a medicine isn't working or if it's causing side effects. But don't stop the medicine without first talking to your doctor.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Alan G Weintraub, MD on May 03, 2013

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