Ask 10 different parents how they treat their children's ADHD and you're likely to get 10 different answers. That's because treatment for ADHD is personalized. Depending on the child, treatment can include:
A single medicine
Combination of medicines
Medicine plus behavioral therapy
Often, medicine treatment for ADHD starts with a stimulant drug, such as:
If your child has ADHD, it’s important to talk with him about it.
"It's never too early to start talking with your child about his ADHD," says Patricia Collins, PhD, director of the Psychoeducational Clinic at North Carolina State University.
You want them to be involved, to understand, and to be on board," says Terry Dickson, MD, director of the Behavioral Medicine Clinic of NW Michigan and an ADHD coach. "I have two children with ADHD, so I can speak from experience here."
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Here's a closer look at these drugs and others that are used as part of adjunctive therapy:
Strattera was the first non-stimulant drug approved to treat ADHD. It works by increasing amounts of the chemical norepinephrine, which is found in the brain. This helps lessen ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.
Strattera is approved for kids ages 6 and older.
Strattera can be prescribed alone. Or it can be added to the stimulant drugs as an adjunctive treatment.
These side effects tend to be less pronounced with Strattera than with traditional stimulants.
In rare cases, Strattera has been linked to heart or liver problems. Because it’s chemically similar to antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications, the drug also carries a warning from the FDA about the risk of suicidal thoughts in children and teenagers.
Let your doctor know if your child has suicidal thoughts before taking this drug. Also, watch for unusual behavior changes while your child is on this medicine and report them to your doctor.