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J Fam Pract. 1999 Jan;48(1):15-20.

A comparative analysis of antidepressants and stimulants for the treatment of adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425-0001, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Adults who identify themselves as having problems with attention and concentration will often make an office visit to request treatment with a stimulant medication, rather than an antidepressant. The uncertainty of the diagnosis and the prospect of a long-term prescription with a stimulant medication can create a dilemma for physicians.

METHODS:

We searched MEDLINE for any English-language studies of antidepressant or stimulant treatment of adults with attention deficits. References from relevant articles were reviewed to supplement the MEDLINE search.

RESULTS:

Antidepressants and stimulants seem to be equally effective for adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Recent controlled studies suggest that desipramine (an antidepressant) may be as effective as methylphenidate (a stimulant) for improving symptoms of adult ADHD.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although few good controlled studies exist, the available research suggests that certain antidepressants and stimulants are equally effective for adults with ADHD. Antidepressants may offer a safe first-line treatment for adults with ADHD.

PMID:
9934377
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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