There are a variety of different ADHD medication options when it comes to reducing the symptoms that come with ADD. However, the medications also come with additional risks and side effects which is why many people living with the condition find it best to explore some alternative available treatment options. If you are a patient or a parent it is always best for you to research the different treatment options so you can see if the medication route would be the best method.
Everything You Need To Know About Adult ADHD Medication
Choosing to use ADHD medication to treat the condition is something that is not going to be easy. If you do some research on the different medications you will find more details. The medications help keep ADD symptoms under control. It helps the person concentrate better, helping them control their impulses, and even help keep them on track when they are trying to do their tasks.
If you decide that medications would be the best choice, it is not a “magical solution”. Taking the medication does not mean that you are still not going to experience forgetfulness, emotional issues, or social awkwardness. ADHD medication works successfully if you make some additional changes to your lifestyle as well.
ADHD medication is not a cure. The purpose of the medication is to help keep the symptoms under control. However, if you stop taking the medications your symptoms are going to return at full speed. Some people tried the medication option and did not have any results at all. Some users have said that it changed their whole lives. And others said they could not notice a difference. This is because everyone is going to respond differently to the medication.
Generic vs. Brand ADHD Medication Names
Generic drugs are the same thing as brand drugs except for their categories. The main reason behind the price difference is generic drugs cut the cost of actually coming up with the drug so they do not have any back costs to try to recover from. Brand drugs put patents on their inventions yet when they have expired generic drugs can pick them up and get them off as their own.
Sometimes you may find that brand drugs may look different color-wise. But, usually everything else is the same. However, if you do happen to notice that your condition gets worse when switching to a generic brand it is wise to consult with your physician immediately. This is very rare though because most generic drugs earned the label “safe” and “effective”.
Stimulant ADHD Medication List
Stimulants are usually what many doctors prescribe to their patients with attention deficit disorder. This is because they are the type of medication that has been around for the longest and they still hold the title of being “effective”. You may have heard of some of them like, Ritalin and Adderall. Stimulants appear to work by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is one of the very important neurotransmitters.
Short-Acting vs. Long-Acting Stimulants
ADD stimulants are available in long and short dosages. Short stimulants last for only about seven hours and they are taken 2-3 times a day. Long stimulants are said to last for around 8-12 hour and they are only required to be taken one time a day. Many patients prefer long stimulates because this makes it easier for them to remember to take their medication.
When thinking about taking stimulants for ADD one has to think about the side effects that come along with it. Some patients have claimed to have experienced personality changes as a result of taking stimulants. Experts are concerned about people who wish to take this as a long term option because stimulants increase blood pressure and speed up the heart rate.
Stimulants have risky side effects and they also have numerous safety concerns as well.
- Currently, the long term effect that this medication will have on children is not determined. Furthermore, experts are currently trying to tie stimulants with abnormal brain development.
- Both children and adults with heart conditions have died suddenly as a result of taking stimulants. As a result, The American Heart Association highly recommends that anyone who is considering this medication undergoes a cardiac evaluation before they even take the medicine.
- Stimulants cause people to experience paranoia and depression. Those who have family members who suffer from conditions such as depression or are bipolar are considered to be high risk. They have to be carefully monitored.
- Stimulant addictions and abuse is something that is definitely on the rise among the teen and young adult groups. College students take them to help them stay awake and sometimes they are used to help people lose weight. This is why it is important for those who have stimulants to take them and not sell them.
Non – Stimulant Medication Options
Several other medications are on the market besides stimulants that are said to be good when it comes to treating individuals with ADD. Among these, you will find Strattera, atypical antidepressants, and even some of the blood pressure medications. However, these ADHD medications are usually only mentioned if stimulants did not help or their side effects were too harsh.
Strattera is atomoxetine and is the only non-stimulant medication that the FDA has approved in regards to being used as a form of ADHD treatment. It works by boosting the amount of norepinephrine in the brain. Not to mention the fact that it also has been shown to last over 24 hours. However, the downside of using this is the fact that it does not seem to be very effective when it comes to controlling hyperactivity. Also, it is not uncommon for those using Strattera to experience, headaches, nausea, mood swings, and sleepiness.
Other medications are on the market for ADD yet they have not been approved by the FDA. Usually, these options are only considered when Strattera and other stimulants do not work.
- High Blood Pressure Medication: Some of the blood pressure medications treat ADD. These medications do help out in a lot of ways but they have shown no improvement when it comes to attention problems in general.
- Antidepressants: Antidepressants are another option that patients have available.
Making the Choice To Take ADHD Medications
After you finish researching the different medications it is not considered uncommon for you to still have a hard time figuring out whether or not medication would be your best treatment option. We recommend you to take as much time as you need to come to a final decision. Whenever someone rushes into a decision the results are not good at all.
Overall, just make sure you do what you want to do and do not let anyone pressure you into making a decision. If you are not comfortable be sure that you wait until you are ready. Besides, medications are not the only treatment options when it comes to ADD.
Also, talking with an ADD specialist is something that is a very good idea.
If you want to understand more about your condition you should consider asking questions such as the following:
- What treatments do you recommend for my symptoms?
- Would it be possible for me to explore a different route and it works just as effective when it comes to managing my symptoms?
- What medications do you recommend for me and can you elaborate more on their side effects?
- How effective is the medication?
- Is there a time frame that I would have to take the medication?
- What happens when I want to stop the medication?
In Addition To Taking ADHD Medications
Many people are under the perception that just because they are taking medication and going to the doctors that there is nothing else that they should be doing. A slew of other things that you do plays an important part in how your lifestyle will change. If you can change your lifestyle you can keep your condition under control without any type of outside help.
- Exercising is one of the best ways to keep symptoms of attention deficit disorder under control.
- Having a healthy diet in place is something that can help you stay in a better mood as well as keep your energy levels in tact in general. Also, make sure that you keep your meals at a scheduled time.
- Getting the right amount of sleep is another factor that seems to keep the symptoms of ADD under control. Make sure that you avoid caffeine and also have a set sleeping schedule in place that you abide by.
- Therapy is something else that can help you not only stay motivated towards your goals but also it can help you get your other symptoms under control as well.
- The best thing to do when you are trying to conquer ADD is to insure that you always keep a positive attitude.
Guidelines for Taking the Medication Route
If you conclude that it would be best for you to take medications to keep the condition under control you must follow the instructions for taking it. This ensures that you not only minimize the side effects but you will also be helping the medication be more effective.
- Learning: Try to find out everything that there is to know about the medication that you are taking it. Be sure to know what medications counter react with it as well.
- Patience: Do not jump into one medication all at once. Instead try a trial process or do some clinical testing and always share the results with your doctor in an honest manner.
- Small Doses: Make sure you begin with a small dosage. This ensures that you can take the lowest dosage possible while achieving the best results.
- Monitoring: Be sure to pay close attention to the effects that the medication brings. If anything is taking place that is abnormal make sure you monitor the situation closely.
- Withdraw Slow: If you decide that you want to quit taking the medication and switch to a different option you do not want to just stop taking the medication abruptly. This can lead you to experience withdrawal symptoms. So, instead you will want to receive guidance from your doctor as to how you can stop.
Dealing with Side Effects of Medication
Both children and adults usually experience some of the side effects that come along with taking medications. Sometimes they go away after a few weeks while others have to endure them longer. These strategies keep the side effects under control if not eliminate them.
- Appetite: If your appetite reduces, try to eat healthy snacks throughout the day and push your dinner to a later time so you can make sure that the medications have worn off.
- Upset Stomach & Headaches: It is never advisable for one to take the medication while their stomach is empty. This is because an upset stomach can result in or even a very bad headache.
- Dizziness: First, you will want to have your blood pressure checked. If this is not the problem try drinking more fluid such as water and even consider having your dosage lowered.
- Mood Swings: If you are having emotional effects as a result of the medication try a lower dosage.
If the side effects of the medication continue to bother you, talk with your doctor about your dosage and your other medication options. Everybody’s body is different so the drug that you are taking may work for someone else but simply is not a good match for you.
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