The most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of ADD/ADHD are stimulant medications.
The most commonly prescribed medications are:
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin®, Concerta®)
- Amphetamine (Dexedrine®, Adderall®)
- Methamphetamine (Desoxyn®)
- Pemoline (Cylert®)
Stimulant medications work by blocking the reabsorption of two brain neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. Stimulants successfully decrease inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Ritalin increases serotonin as well, which is why it has a calming effect in people with ADD/ADHD.
Side effects/risks of stimulant drugs include addiction, reduced appetite, irritability, jittery feelings, sleep disturbance, rebound/withdrawal (especially with fast-acting stimulants such as Ritalin®), mania, euphoria, depression, anxiety, psychosis, tics, and acute liver failure.
Patients who use stimulant medications should be closely monitored by a healthcare professional to watch for any potential side effects.
Caution should be taken in handling stimulant medications, since drug abuse can occur in people who don’t have ADD/ADHD. Prescription stimulant abuse is on the rise among non-ADHD school children because these medications can induce feelings of stimulation, euphoria, wakefulness, alertness, and appetite suppression.
Additional Information about Attention Deficit Disorder
- Attention Deficit Disorder Overview
- Common symptoms of attention deficit disorder
- Common causes of attention deficit disorder
- Help me choose a natural and alternative treatment for attention deficit disorder
- Dietary and lifestyle recommendations that may help in the treatment of attention deficit disorder
- Additional Reading for attention deficit disorder