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How are stimulants used to treat ADHD?

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Although there is considerable controversy about their possible overuse, stimulants are the most commonly prescribed medications for treating ADHD. Stimulants often decrease hyperactivity and improve concentration. A doctor needs to monitor the dosage of the stimulant medication closely, both to determine the most effective level of drug and to watch for any side effects. Generally, most side effects of stimulants are mild and may include decreased appetite, stomach aches, sleep problems, headaches, and an increase in anxiety. However, in rare cases, stimulants can have more serious side effects. For instance, some are linked to a higher risk of heart problems and sudden death in children with preexisting heart disease. They may also worsen psychiatric conditions like depression or anxiety or cause a psychotic reaction in some individuals. Before your kids start taking an ADHD medicine, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.

SOURCES: 

Heart Rhythm Society. 

American Academy of Pediatrics. 

National Institute of Mental Health. 

Attention Deficit Disorder Association. 

The American Academy of Family Physicians. 

Medscape: "Once-Daily Guanfacine Approved to Treat ADHD." 

Intuniv web site.

Attention Deficit Disorder Resources: "Medication Management for Adults with ADHD." 

Strattera web site. 

National Institute of Mental Health: "Questions Raised about Stimulants and Sudden Death." 

HelpGuide.org: "ADD & ADHD Medications." 

News release, Pfizer.

FDA: "FDA permits marketing of first brain wave test to help assess children and teens for ADHD."

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on March 25, 2019

SOURCES: 

Heart Rhythm Society. 

American Academy of Pediatrics. 

National Institute of Mental Health. 

Attention Deficit Disorder Association. 

The American Academy of Family Physicians. 

Medscape: "Once-Daily Guanfacine Approved to Treat ADHD." 

Intuniv web site.

Attention Deficit Disorder Resources: "Medication Management for Adults with ADHD." 

Strattera web site. 

National Institute of Mental Health: "Questions Raised about Stimulants and Sudden Death." 

HelpGuide.org: "ADD & ADHD Medications." 

News release, Pfizer.

FDA: "FDA permits marketing of first brain wave test to help assess children and teens for ADHD."

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on March 25, 2019

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What other drugs are used to treat ADHD?

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