Anti-ADHD Medication

The most commonly used anti-ADHD psychiatric medication for the treatment and management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is stimulants. There are a few different stimulant options. Most well known are Ritalin and Adderall. These drugs are effective in there management of ADHD, but they should be used properly and monitored for negative side effects.

Some different kinds of stimulants used to treat ADHD are:

  • Amphetamines
  • NRIs (Norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor)
  • NDRIs (Norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor)
  • Modafinil

Why Are Stimulants Used?

Stimulants provide improvements to mental and physical function, allowing a person with ADHD or ADD to have alertness. It may seem that a stimulant would cause more hyperactivity, but it actually helps them to focus on a task at-hand.

How Are Stimulants Dangerous?

Stimulants are known for being abused or used recreationally. Even medication like Adderall is often used to achieve a “high.” Stimulants can cause fatal heart attacks and seizures, even in short-term usage. Long-term usage can be dangerous because they can be addictive, especially for those who use them compulsively. Taking certain stimulants for a long period of time, or increasing the dosage significantly can cause hostility, paranoia, increased heart rate and high body temperatures. Because there are fatal risks, it’s vital to take them only as prescribed, and to follow the directions carefully. If you notice any ongoing negative side effects, talk to your doctor about changing medication.

Who Should Use Stimulants?

Stimulants are most popularly used in ADD/ADHD patients. With increases attention and focus, improvements can be seen in school, personal relationships and home life. Stimulants aren’t usually recommended for preschool aged children or pregnant women. It’s important not to mix the drugs with any other drugs or alcohol unless under direct supervision of your doctor.

What Should You Do?

If you or your child is suffering from ADHD, talk to your psychiatrist about starting a treatment program with a medication like stimulants or other anti-ADHD medication. It’s a good idea to continually seek therapy, to optimize treatment and keep negative symptoms at bay. Make sure that the medication is taken exactly as directed. If the medication is for your child, keep it somewhere that they won’t access it or compulsively take more than they need. These medications have been known to be abused, and it is very dangerous to overuse or misuse them. With consistent therapy and medication, you or your child’s ADHD problem can be managed, offering more solidarity and success.

View Resources

  • Wikipedia – Wikipedia entry for stimulants, including many different prescription and non-prescription types.
  • DrugFree.org – Information about stimulants, short and long-term effects.
  • NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) – Information about stimulants used in different ways.
  • MedlinePlus – Short information about stimulants.
  • Wikipedia – Wikipedia page for ADHD, with information about treatment.
  • HelpGuide.org – Information about treatment for ADD/ADHD, including stimulant use.
  • KidsHealth.org – Information for treatment of ADHD in teenagers and children.

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