Treatment options for ADHD
Behavioral Intervention Strategies
ADHD and school
What are the different types of ADHD medications?
Medications do not cure ADHD, but when used effectively can alleviate ADHD symptoms. Several medications are effective in treating individuals with ADHD. Stimulant and non-stimulant medications work either directly or indirectly to reduce dopamine and norepinephrine transmission of nerve signals. Some medications that treat depression can be used off-label for treating ADHD.
Stimulants are the post common and widely used medications; between 70-80% of children respond effectively to these medications. Common stimulant medications are:
methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Focalin)
mixed salts of amphetamine (Adderall, Adderall XR)
dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Dextrostat)
Methylphenidate, amphetamine, and mixed salts of amphetamine are available in both short (4 hours) and long duration formulations (6-8 hours or 10-12 hours). Methamphetamine hydrochloride (Desoxyn) is also a stimulant but because of abuse, it is only prescribed under rare circumstances.
Side effects from stimulant medications for ADHD include decreased appetite and weight, stomach upset, headaches, increase in blood pressure and insomnia. There are reports that stimulants can decrease physical growth. Serious but uncommon side effects associated with stimulants include sudden death, stroke, and heart attack.
Next: Non-Stimulants For ADHD, Abuse, Differences Between Medications