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The Right ADHD Treatment for You

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Non-Stimulants

Your doctor might prescribe one of these meds, like atomoxetine (Strattera), if stimulants aren’t right for you. It raises levels of a chemical in the brain that helps control behavior.

The antidepressant bupropion (Wellbutrin) might also be used, but it’s not FDA-approved for adult ADHD.

Non-stimulants might take a few weeks to begin working, and you might have side effects including heartburn, constipation, and low sex drive. These might go away over time.

Blood Pressure Medications

If you can’t take other meds, your doctor might prescribe one of two BP drugs: clonidine (Kapvay) or guanfacine (Intuniv, Tenex). These medications can help you manage symptoms like impulsivity and hyperactivity.

The side effects include dry mouth, dizziness, headache, and sleepiness.

Counseling

Your doctor can also refer you to a counselor or therapist who can help you tackle the everyday problems that ADHD can bring.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can teach you how to:

  • Manage your time.
  • Make plans for both the near future and further down the road.
  • Cope with your emotions.
  • Handle stress.
  • Change your self-image if it isn’t very good.
  • Think things through before taking action.
  • Avoid taking unnecessary risks.

Counseling can also teach you ways to remember things better and show you how to use calendars and date books to give your days structure.

Over time your symptoms may change, and treatments that work at first might stop working. Your doctor and counselor will help you work through these changes by tweaking your treatment plan.

There are things you can do on your own, too. 

  • Eat healthy. 
  • Get regular exercise
  • Get plenty of sleep. 
  • Find ways to manage your stress, like meditation or yoga. 

Also, consider joining a support group to connect with other adults who are living with ADHD.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on May 20, 2015
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