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Using Adderall for Depression

Adderall is also sometimes used to treat depression. Although it is not approved for this use, the medicine can help to rapidly improve depression symptoms. This is called an "off-label" use. An off-label use means that a prescription medicine is used to treat a disease or condition other than what it has been approved to treat by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Although the FDA regulates how a medication can be advertised or promoted by the manufacturer, these regulations do not restrict a doctor's ability to prescribe the medication for different conditions, in different doses, or for different lengths of time. Your healthcare provider will prescribe a medicine for an off-label use when he or she feels that the medicine is appropriate for your situation.
 
While such use often occurs in the treatment of many conditions, you should feel comfortable about asking your doctor if he or she is using a medication or combination of medications in a manner that is not approved by the FDA.
 

Final Thoughts

Even though Adderall is sometimes used to treat depression, this also has been reported as a possible side effect of this drug. Therefore, when taking Adderall, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of depression. If you notice any of these in either you or your child -- or if something "just does not seem right" -- you should talk to your healthcare provider right away. He or she will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend treatment options.
 
(Click Depression Treatment for more information on ways to manage this condition.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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