Are ADHD Medications Right for You?

Mickey | Health and Wellness | Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Like many other disorders, the standard recommended ADHD treatment is medication. Parents who have children with this condition are best served looking at the benefits, risks and side effects associated with medications for ADHD.

Several benefits of these medications are their ability to help individuals with ADHD to concentrate, complete tasks that are assigned to them and control their impulsive behavior. But, these medications failed to improve other ADHD symptoms, such as social awkwardness, forgetfulness, disorganization, relationship difficulties and emotional problems.

Due to the different response of an individual to medications, it is suggested that physicians should design a personalized treatment strategy for an individual suffering from ADHD. Monitoring is also important because of the risks of medications.

Stimulants, which include Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta are the most popular medications ADHD people are prescribed.  These drugs increase circulating dopamine levels in ADHD individuals. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter linked to attention, pleasure, movement and motivation. Several ADHD individuals disclose that stimulants effectively improve their concentration and focus and reduce their hyperactive behavior.

Side effects include loss of appetite (with the potential for anorexia, sleep difficulties, headaches, stomach pain), emotional changes, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, generalized weakness, and increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure.

Meanwhile, other available medications for ADHD are Strattera, which targets norepinephrine, blood pressure drugs which include guanfacine and clonidine and antidepressants.

Some common adverse effects of Strattera include headache, sleepiness, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and dizziness.

To be able to correctly administer ADHD medications, parents should know about the medication, including its possible adverse effects, they need to understand that not all medications will work on your child and monitoring the effects of the medication on your child.

It is also important for ADHD individuals to know how to take their medications correctly and the significance of following the prescription guidelines.

There are options beyond medications. Parents should also incorporate other treatment options for ADHD individuals, such as regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, enough sleep and behavior therapy. Some ADHD herbal and homeopathic remedies have also shown promise in reducing the symptoms the ADHD.

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