Antidepressants are medications commonly used to treat depression. Antidepressants are also used for other health conditions, such as anxiety, pain and insomnia. Although antidepressants are not FDA-approved specifically to treat ADHD, antidepressants are sometimes used to treat ADHD in adults.
The antidepressant drugs used today counteract the effects of neurotransmitter deficiencies in three ways.
I. First, they may inhibit the effects of MAO, leading to increased NE or 5HT in the synaptic cleft.
II. Second, they may block reuptake by the releasing nerve, leading to increased neurotransmitter levels in the synaptic cleft.
III. Third, they may regulate receptor sites and the breakdown of neurotransmitters, leading to an accumulation of neurotransmitter in the synaptic cleft.
Antidepressants may be classified into three groups:
I. the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs),
II. the MAOIs, and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
III. Other drugs that are used as antidepressants similarly increase the synaptic cleft concentrations of these neurotransmitters.
The most popular types of antidepressants arecalled selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These include:
• Fluoxetine (Prozac)
• Citalopram (Celexa)
• Sertraline (Zoloft)
• Paroxetine (Paxil)
• Escitalopram (Lexapro).