- Obsessive Compulsive Behavior
The first line drug treatment for apathy is SSRI or NSRI antidepressant drugs. These drugs can improve apathy even when depression is not present.
If these drugs fail, sometimes a stimulant drug is used. Many of these drugs were developed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD or ADHD), or narcolepsy, which is a condition of excessive sleepiness. Stimulant drugs have similar side effects which include agitation, insomnia, irritability, and high blood pressure. There can also be loss of appetite and headache.
Atomoxetine (Strattera®) This is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Doses start at 40 mg/day and are increased slowly over weeks of time. If this drug is used with paroxetine (Paxil®) or fluoxetine (Prozac®), lower dose adjustment is necessary.
Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine®) Dosages start at 10 mg/day, and can be increased in weekly intervals. This drug has high addictive potential.
Modafinil (Provigil®) Dosage starts as 100-200 mg/day. This drug is also used for treatment of fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis. Headache is a frequent side effect of higher dose therapy. This drug has lower side effect potential for agitation or insomnia.