Treating ADHD with Medicine

adhdAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by difficulties with attention, organization, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.[1] This disorder often begins in childhood and causes problems within multiple settings, from school to home.1 Although children with ADHD may suffer significant problems due to their behavior, treatment is available to reduce these issues and improve social interactions.1 Oftentimes, treatment includes behavior therapy and medicine.1

After a diagnosis is made by a health care professional, preferably a psychiatrist, treatment can begin.1 The National Institute of Mental Health states that the most common type of medicine used to treat ADHD is a stimulant.1 Although it may seem ironic to  treat this type of disorder with a stimulant, they actually have a calming effect on children with ADHD.1 Many types of stimulants are available, and there are also non-stimulant medicines that may work, as well.1 Overall, the medicine a health care professional prescribes will work to reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity, while increasing the child’s ability to focus, work, and learn.1

Medicines are extremely helpful for children with this disorder; however, many parents are hesitant to give their child medicines to manage their symptoms.1 In this case, beginning with a small dose can help parents become comfortable with the medicine, before a therapeutic dose is prescribed.1

Unfortunately, the medicine that works for one child may not work as well for another, and a trial-and-error process is often the way to find the right fit.1 Parents should monitor their child for side effects, although stimulants are very safe.1 In fact, stimulants do not make children with ADHD feel “high” and there is little evidence that they lead to substance abuse.1

Common side effects occur with all types of medicines, and this is no different for stimulants.1 However, most are minor and disappear over time or decrease with a lowered dose.1 Some experience a decreased appetite and others experience sleep problems.1

While there is no cure for ADHD, medicine is able to control the symptoms and allow for better overall functioning.1 For the best results, behavioral therapy, counseling, and support groups can help children with ADHD and their families cope better with the everyday issues the diagnosis brings.1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We are the only facility in Florida owned and operated by an addiction psychiatrist involved in all treatment decisions. Learn more
Hello. Add your message here.