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:
We’ve known that our 11-year-old son, Ian, has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) since he was in third grade. Actually, we knew something was wrong even when he was in preschool. He was having major meltdowns, had no impulse control, was constantly touching things, and couldn’t seem to stop running. He even ran out of his classroom. One time he almost got hit by a bus after he did so; he just wasn’t paying attention.
But no one could diagnose him. It was a very hectic, stressful time...
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.
Two drugs called alpha-2 agonists, in extended release form, are now formally approved to treat kids with ADHD: