Aderall for depression is off-label

I’ve been interested in aderall as I can’t seem to get over the lethargic feeling. My friend who suffers from ADHD does take aderall and I wonder if her extreme energy comes from the effects of Aderall. Literally she works 60 hours a week and can still go to concerts, dinner with friends after work and she has something going on all day at least on Saturdays or Sundays.

But it does scare me to read the negative effects or the negative implications of long-term use of this powerful stimulant. Adderall is not an anti-depressant and should never be used as an alternative treatment for depression and psychiatrists should always prescribe anti-depressants or other medications along the line but some doctors are inclined to use Adderall for off-label use.

The negative effects of this medication is that patients can develop tolerance for this medication meaning that the medication may not have the same effect without increasing their dosage after a while. There is a possibility that some patients may not be able to function without aderall as they become so dependent on the medication and feel extremely sluggish and lethargic without it.

Will you be willing to try Aderall for extreme depression/lethargicness? I guess some people feel desperate (like myself now!) to get out of this feeling but you will need to discuss pros and cons with your doctor if he/she is even willing to prescribe you for this medication.

For me, I will just deal with this lethargicness without adding any more antidepressants. (

“Down in the dumps” does not tough the level of misery some experience when they’re depressed. According to the NIMH, major depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States in people ages 15 to 44. In severe cases when conventional medical treatments for depression don’t boost patients from their depths of despair, physicians consider using off-label or second-line remedies for much longed-for relief.

Signifiance: Depression has reached near-epidemic percentages. According to the NIMH, 9.5 percent of the adult U.S. population has a mood disorder, and 14.8 million American adults experience major depression in a given year.

Depression often co-occurs with anxiety disorders and substance use. In 2006, 33,300 people died by suicide in the U.S. Over 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder, most commonly major depression or substance abuse. Those so depressed they lose hope for recovery may find symptomatic relief with Adderall.


Emotional stress, not taking prescribed antidepressants as scheduled and underlying physical or other mental health problems may incite treatment-resistant depression, depressive symptoms that persist and or reoccur despite standard treatments, according to the Mayo Clinic. Atypical depression, often characterized by increased desire to sleep and physical listlessness, may defy customary treatment. Although difficulty sleeping, restlessness, irritability and overeating sometimes typify depression, the NIMH notes that people also may feel hopeless, lose interest in activities once enjoyed, experience fatigue, decreased energy, feelings of guilt and worhlessness, physical pain and thoughts of suicide when they are depressed.

This leaves them feelign sluggish and unproductive, often perpetuating their depression.


Although not labeled for use in depression, Adderall, a stimulant used to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is also prescribed for narcopelsy, a condition characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep.

According to the 2010 “Nursing Physician Desk Reference,” as a stimulant, Adderall modifies norepinephrine in certain areas of the brain and promotes energy and alertness. When severe despondency characterizes depression. Adderall can help restore vigor and attentiveness. Although it is not an antidepressant, it may be prescribed to augument one to reduce or alleviate incapacitating lethargy.


Adderall is not an antidepressant and should not be used as a replacement for one. According to the NIH, when taken for a period of time, a tolerance to Adderall may develop, necessitating increased doses to have the same desired effect. For this reason, misuse of an addiction to Adderall is possible. Because it effectively alleviates lethargy, some eventually find it difficult to feel well without it. Regular and ongoing use of Adderall followed by suddenly stopping it can actually trigger depression and severe fatigue.

Adderall potentially interferacts with many medicatios including a type of antidepressants called mono amine oxidase inhibitors, blood thinners, alpha blockers, antacids, antihistamines, anti-convulsants and pain killers, among others. Information about use of other medications with Adderall should e shared with the prescribing physician to promote safety.


The FDA has issued a warning for anyone taking stimulants like Adderall. A review of research indicates that children and adolescents with pre-existing cardiac problems who took stimulants were at increased risk for cardiac events like stroke, heart attack and sudden death.

The same reviews illustrated that there was a very small chance that people taking stimulants may lose tough with reality, such as hearing voices, seeing things or becoming manic. The risks and benefits of taking Adderall for depression should be weighed very carefully with the prescribing physician.

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