People of all ages can be treated for ADHD using the ADHD medications. There are several medications on the market that are used extensively to treat children and adults who have been diagnosed with ADHD. However, there is no one medication for all ADHD sufferers. Many of these medications are subject to the individual's reaction to them. This means you will have to try several medications before finding the right one. Nevertheless, the right medication can help manage ADHD symptoms so that sufferers can lead more satisfying lives.
Stimulants are the first line of ADHD drug treatment. They work by stimulating and increasing brain activity in specific areas for focus, attention, and impulse control. Although stimulants help ADHD sufferers to have better self control and focus on completing tasks, they do not improve academic achievement and social skills. ADHD medications alleviate symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity.
Antidepressants and Atomoxetine, the second line of ADHD drug treatments, are used if stimulants do not work for an ADHD sufferer.
Atomoxetine is a non-stimulant medication that is used after two failed treatments with stimulants.
One thing that needs to be considered is that there are side effects to many of the medications used to treat ADHD. Most drugs do have some side effects, but some are much worse than others. The possible side effects of ADHD medications are serious if you have a personal or family history of heart problems. ADHD medications such as Dexedrine, Adderall and Concerta feature strong warnings about potential heart attacks and other cardiovascular risks. Common side effects in children are loss of appetite, sleep disturbances and nervousness. In rare cases, some stimulants can lead to tics, psychosis and moodiness.
ADHD stimulant medications contain either methylphenidate or amphetamines.
Methylphenidate is the first choice of stimulant as it has fewer side effects. It is available in short (Ritalin, Focalin), medium (Ritalin SR, Metadate ER, Methylin ER) and long acting durations (Concerta, Rilatin LA, Metadate C).
Amphetamines are the second choice of stimulants if an ADHD sufferer does not respond to Methylphenidate. Dexedrine and Dextrostat have a short acting duration of up to 6 hours. Adderall is available in both medium and long acting durations.
Although there is no cure for ADHD, the right medication can help manage the symptoms in the short term. Before prescribing ADHD medications, doctors should weigh the side effects against the benefits. It must be stressed that ADHD medications do not treat the causes of this disorder. ADHD and its causes should be determined first and dealt with behavioral therapy or counseling before moving to medications.