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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Treatment Overview

ADHD in adults

Many adults don't realize that they have ADHD until their children are diagnosed. Then they begin to recognize their own symptoms. Some adults with ADHD learn to manage their lives and find careers in which they can use their intellectual curiosity and creativity to their advantage. But many adults have difficulties at home and work.

Like children with ADHD, adults may benefit from medicine combined with psychological support. This support includes education about the disorder, support groups and/or counseling, and skills training. Skills training may include:

Stimulant medicines may be used in adults who have ADHD. These medicines can help a person focus better. And they can help decrease hyperactivity and impulsivity. If stimulant medicines have bothersome side effects or aren't effective, your doctor might recommend other medicines. Some examples are atomoxetine (Strattera), clonidine (Kapvay), and guanfacine (Intuniv).

Certain antidepressants are sometimes also recommended. These include bupropion (for example, Wellbutrin) and tricyclics (for example, desipramine, imipramine, and nortriptyline).

What to think about

There are several myths that can get in the way of understanding ADHD. It is important to understand that ADHD is a medical problem that is best managed with treatment. Your child is more likely to control symptoms when he or she actively takes part in treatment, such as taking medicines on time.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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