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What Are the Sexual Side Effects of ADD Medications?

Many different classes of drugs1 have been utilized in the treatment attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), also called attention deficit disorder 1. Here we will describe the side effects of a selected list of ADHD therapeutics by their generic names.

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Stimulants

Amphetamine-derived stimulants work by increasing the synaptic concentrations of dopamine and norepinephrine.2 These drugs were historically used to treat obesity, and common side effects include loss of appetite, increased wakefulness, sleep disturbances and low risk of suicidal thoughts and psychotic symptoms. Drugs used to treat ADHD include:

Methylphenidate This drug may also cause the worsening of tics an increased risk of seizures.

Amphetamine This drug may also cause growth delay in children and an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Sudden withdraw of amphetamine can cause symptoms such as depression and sever fatigue, especially after regular usage over an extended period of time.

  • Amphetamine-derived stimulants work by increasing the synaptic concentrations of dopamine and norepinephrine.2 These drugs were historically used to treat obesity, and common side effects include loss of appetite, increased wakefulness, sleep disturbances and low risk of suicidal thoughts and psychotic symptoms.
  • Drugs used to treat ADHD include: Methylphenidate This drug may also cause the worsening of tics an increased risk of seizures.

Secondary Tricyclic antidepressants

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While the mechanism of action of this class of drugs is unknown, these molecule have been observed to increase the synaptic concentrations of serotonin and norepinephrine.3 Common side effects of these drugs include:

  • daytime drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • dry mouth
  • urinary disturbances
  • constipation
  • sexual problems

The drugs used for ADHD include:

Tertiary Tricyclic antidepressants

These molecules are very similar to the secondary tricyclic antidepressants in their activities and side effects, however the side effects tend to be more pronounced and also include potential cardiotoxicity and increased frequency of seizures.3 The drugs used for ADHD include:

Amitriptyline

Imipramine

Clomipramine

MAO inhibitors

List of ADHD Non Stimulant Medications

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Drugs used to treat ADHD include:

Phenelzine This is an irreversible inhibitor of two forms of MAO that can be prescribed for depression. Its effects can last for up to two weeks after cessation of its use.

Selegiline This s an irreversible inhibitor of one form of MAO that can be prescribed for Parkinson’s disease. Its side effects include orthostatic hypotension and hallucinations.

  • Drugs used to treat ADHD include: Phenelzine This is an irreversible inhibitor of two forms of MAO that can be prescribed for depression.

α2-Adernergic Agonists

Clonidine Most side effects of clonidine are mild and tend to diminish with continued usage. Combination therapy of clonidine and methylphenidate can negatively affect cardiac condition and increase patient risk for arrhythmia. Withdraw symptoms of this drug include:

  • nervousness
  • agitation
  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • tremor
  • headache
  • sweating
  • increased salvation
  • increased blood pressure
  • irregular or increased heart rate

Others

Modafinil Modafinil is a wake-promoting used to treat narcolepsy, but has many off-label uses including ADHD treatment.4 The most common side effects include:

  • insomnia
  • abdominal pain
  • anorexia
  • cough
  • fever
  • stuffy nose.1
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