What is ADHD medication?

For children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, medication can help minimize symptoms of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness. Medication for ADHD, however, does not treat ADHD. Your symptoms will reoccur if you stop using the medicine. They’re not the only alternative for treating your symptoms; they can also have dangers and unwanted effects.

In order to make the optimal option for yourself or your child, it’s vital that you, as the patient or parent, are aware of the facts surrounding ADHD medication.

Understanding medicine for ADHD

First, it’s crucial to recognize precisely what ADHD medicines can and cannot accomplish.

Taking an ADHD prescription may help you focus better, manage your impulses, create goals, and complete duties on schedule. It isn’t a miraculous medicine, though, that will address every difficulty you or your child has.

However, certain symptoms can not go away even when the treatment is successful. For example, an adult with ADHD may still feel disorganisation, distractibility, and interpersonal challenges, whereas a child with ADHD may still suffer with forgetfulness, emotional disorders, and social anxiety. For this reason, it’s vital to change your lifestyle to help control your symptoms. These modifications should include frequent exercise, a balanced diet, and appropriate sleep.

[See also: ADHD Parenting Tips, Adult ADHD Management Tips]

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that every individual reacts to ADHD medication differently. Not everything that works for someone else will work for you or your child, and efficacy varies as well. While some people observe tremendous progress, others may see minor or no improvement.

Choosing the right ADHD medicine can often feel tough due to the huge array of options available. To identify the specific drug and dosage that is most beneficial for you or your youngster, you may need to be patient and engage in some trial and error with your physician.

The usage of ADHD medication should always be adjusted to the individual and thoroughly managed by a physician because the effects could differ greatly. ADHD medication may be less effective and more hazardous if it is not adequately regulated.

Stimulant medicines for ADHD

The most typically suggested class of medicines for attention deficit disorder is stimulants. They have been treating ADHD for the longest time, and the most research has been done to support their efficacy. Medications in the stimulant class include common ones like:

Concerta (methylphenidate) plus Ritalin

The drug Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine)

Dexmethylphenidate, or focalin

ProCentra, Zenzedi, and Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)  

Elisdexamfetamine, or vyvanse

Evekeo, Dyanavel, and Adzenys (amphetamine)

How stimulant medicines work

It is assumed that stimulants act by boosting dopamine levels in the brain. One neurotransmitter connected to motivation, pleasure, focus, and movement is dopamine. Stimulant medicines increase focus and concentration while diminishing impulsive and hyperactive behaviours in many ADHD patients.

Short-acting vs. long-acting stimulants

There are dosages for ADHD stimulants that affect swiftly and slowly. Short-acting stimulants take two to three daily dosages and peak after several hours. Extended-release or long-acting stimulants are normally taken once daily and have a half-life of 8 to 12 hours.

Since persons with ADHD frequently struggle to remember to take their meds, long-acting versions of ADHD drugs are commonly suggested. It is substantially simpler and more convenient to take one dosage per day.

unfavorable implications of medications that boost the body

Side effects of stimulant medicines

being uncomfortable and uneasy

Having difficulties falling asleep

appetite drop


upset stomach

Mood swings and irritation



thumping heart rate


A change in personality may also happen from stimulant drugs. Some people start to become less conversational, impetuous, drowsy, or withdraw. Others show symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Many professionals are concerned about the hazards of utilizing stimulants for longer periods of time as they increase heart rate and blood pressure.

Safety issues with stimulant medicines

Stimulant medication safety issues

impact on the maturing brain. It is unknown how long-term use of ADHD medication will effect a young person’s growing brain. Certain academics are worried that stimulant drug usage in youngsters and teenagers could impede healthy brain development.

heart-related concerns. People with cardiac issues, both adults and children, have been documented to die abruptly after taking ADHD stimulant medicines. Before commencing a stimulant program, the American Heart Association urges all patients, including children, to obtain a heart checkup. It is advisable to get an ECG if the patient has a history of cardiac difficulties.

psychological difficulties. ADHD drugs may produce or aggravate antagonism, aggression, anxiety, depressed symptoms, and paranoia. Individuals who have a family or personal history of bipolar disorder, depression, or suicide are especially vulnerable and should have strict supervision when using stimulants.

Possibility of misuse. Abuse of stimulants is becoming more and more of an issue, especially among teens and young people. This medicine gives college students an energy boost during all-nighters or exam cramming. Some people overuse stimulant drugs because they help them lose weight. Make sure your child isn’t selling or sharing their stimulant-taking medications if they are.

ADHD stimulants are not indicated for persons with:

any form of sickness or dysfunction of the heart

raised blood pressure

Overactive thyroid


increased anxiety

a past of substance misuse

Stimulant Medication Red Flags

If your youngster or you experience any of the following symptoms while taking a stimulant, contact your doctor straight away.

ADHD medication:

chest discomfort


losing consciousness

perceiving or hearing imaginary phenomena

suspicion or anxiety

Non-stimulant drugs for ADHD

Several non-stimulant drugs, such as Strattera, Qelbree, Intuniv, and Kapvay, are used to treat ADHD in addition to the typical stimulant treatments.

In addition, some medicines are occasionally used “off-label” (that is, administered by physicians for purposes not approved by the FDA) to treat attention deficit disorder. These include tricyclic antidepressants and atypical antidepressants like Wellbutrin.

When stimulants haven’t worked or have generated unpleasant side effects, non-stimulant medications are frequently taken into account. There is often reduced possibility of abuse or addiction with non-stimulant ADHD medicines. All medicines contain some risk of unwanted effects, however they are not as likely to cause agitation or insomnia as stimulants are.

Strattera for ADHD

The FDA has approved non-stimulant medications for the treatment of ADHD, including Strattera (atomoxetine) and Qelbree (viloxazine), which belong to a class of antidepressants known as selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs. Strattera and Qelbree enhance norepinephrine levels, which is a unique brain chemical that can help with impulse control and attention spans; this is in contrast to stimulants, which work on dopamine.

Qelbree is authorized for use in children from 6 to 17 years old, however it is occasionally prescribed for adults as well. Qelbree and Strattera have longer half-lives than stimulant medicines. They’re a terrific choice for folks who struggle to get going in the morning because their effects linger for more than twenty-four hours. It is also a fantastic option for persons who co-occur anxiety or depression because of its antidepressant characteristics. It also doesn’t make tics or Tourette’s Syndrome worse, which is a bonus.

However, Strattera does not seem to work as effectively as stimulant medicines to treat hyperactivity-related symptoms.

SNRI side effects

Common side effects of Qelbree and Strattera in adults and children include:




tummy aches or unsettled stomach

vomiting or feeling queasy

Changes in mood

Insomnia and appetite suppression are further potential side effects of both Straterra and Qelbree, however these are more characteristic of stimulants.

Along with dry mouth, erectile dysfunction, and difficulty peeing, people taking Straterra may also have other sexual side effects. It may occasionally result in liver difficulties, high blood pressure, and an accelerated heartbeat.

Strattera and Qelbee Suicide Risk in Children

Strattera and Qelbree, like other SNRIs, have the potential to induce suicidal thoughts and actions in certain persons, notably in children and young adults who also have depression or bipolar disorder in addition to ADHD.

If your youngster exhibits signs of worry, anger, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, and/or

unanticipated adjustments to behaviour.


Freya Parker

Freya Parker lives in Sydney and writes about cars. She's really good at explaining car stuff in simple words. She studied at a good university in Melbourne. Freya started her career at Auto Trader, where she learned a lot about buying and selling cars. She also works with We Buy Cars in South Africa and some small car businesses in Australia.

What makes her special is that she cares about the environment. She likes to talk about how cars affect the world. Freya writes in a friendly way that helps people understand cars better. That's why many people in the car industry like to listen to her.

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