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ADHD in Children Health Center

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Choosing the Right ADHD Medication for Your Child

You have many options in types of medications, doses and treatment strategies.


There have been reports of slightly decreased growth in children and teens taking Strattera. It is recommended that children and adolescents be observed, measured, and weighed periodically while on this ADHD medication. Allergic reactions are rare but do occur, usually as swelling or hives. The doctor or other health care professional should be advised immediately if anyone taking Strattera develops a skin rash, swelling, hives, or other allergic symptoms.

In 2004, Strattera began carrying a warning label that the drug should be stopped if patients showed signs of jaundice -- yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, a sign of liver damage. If blood tests show evidence of liver damage, the drug should also be stopped.

Antidepressants as ADHD Medications

Various types of antidepressant medications have all been shown to help children and adults with ADHD, says the AAP. These include Pamelor, Aventyl, Tofranil, Norpramin, Pertofrane, Effexor, Nardil, and Parnate. Some are better tolerated than others. Some have side effects that can be a problem.

However, antidepressants are not approved by the FDA to treat ADHD. And antidepressants are generally not as effective as stimulants or Strattera at improving attention span and concentration. Also, in 2004 the FDA determined that antidepressant medications increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children with depression and other psychiatric disorders.

Reviewed on October 01, 2005

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