According to a 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, about 4% of adults are diagnosed with ADHD.
When it comes to ADHD treatment, medication is an important part, and there’s a wide range of drugs available that can help you control the ADHD symptoms.
Consult with your doctor for ADHD evaluation & treatment, and get sound advice on ADHD medications, ideal dose, and how often you should take the medications. Read along to get in-depth information about the available ADHD medicines and their side-effects.
Available ADHD Medication for adults
ADHD medicines are generally divided into two categories—stimulants and non-stimulants. Let’s discuss them one by one-
ADD – ADHD medication treatment—stimulants work for 7-8 out of 10 patients. These drugs are helpful in treating moderate to severe ADHD and are beneficial for adults, teens, and children.
Stimulants work by enhancing the levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter related to pleasure, motivation, and attention. Stimulant drugs help in reducing hyperactive behaviors along with increasing concentration and focus.
Many have misconceptions that stimulants are addictive. But, studies show that ADHD patients treated with these drugs have lower chances of drug abuse.
Stimulants are generally divided into three groups—short-acting, intermediate-acting and long-acting.
Long-acting stimulants are usually taken once a day while short-acting ones are taken two to three times. Talk to your doctor to get sound advice on ADHD medication for adults.
Here’s a list of some stimulant medicines-
- Amphetamine sulfate
- Adzenys XR-ODT
- Methylphenidate, Daytrana, Metadate CD, Quillivant XR, Quillichew ER, Ritalin LA
Many patients unable to reverse their ADHD symptoms with stimulants; for them, non-stimulants can be a good option.
These drugs work differently than stimulants—don’t affect neurotransmitters, but boost the levels of dopamine. Usually, non-stimulants may take longer to get results than stimulants.
Atomoxetine—it is an FDA approved the drug for children, adolescents, and adults. It was the first non-stimulant medicine for ADHD treatment.
Clonidine hydrochloride—it can be used independently or in combination with a stimulant for better results.
Guanfacine—for patients between the ages 6 and 17.
Other ADHD medicines
If both stimulants and non-stimulants don’t work or you have some other medical conditions, or you want to avoid side-effects, you can use some other medicines to control the ADHD symptoms.
ADHD medication for adults – side effects
No doubt, stimulants, and non-stimulants are effective in reducing the ADHD symptoms, but they have some risks. Some side-effects last for a short time while other for a long time.
Some of the common ADHD medication side-effects are—loss of appetite, sleeplessness, headaches, emotional problems, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
However, some ADHD medicines can also enhance the risks of heart and blood vessel problems, mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
To minimize the side-effects of ADHD medication, talk to your doctor and provide all your medical details like family medical history, risks, etc. Also, let your doctor know about the vitamins and medications you’re taking.
Doctors use various ways to minimize the risks associated with ADHD medications. These include-
- Change the medication
- Change the dose
- Adjust the dose timings
What’s the bottom line? ADHD medicines are effective in boosting concentration and ignoring distractions. Talk to a certified doctor for ADHD evaluation & treatment to discuss the med options that will work for you and provide the best results.