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What medical conditions should avoid stimulants in the treatment of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

ANSWER

Stimulants are the first medication choice for ADHD, and they tend to work the best. But stimulants are not for everyone. For some, the side effects can be too much. And you want to avoid stimulants if you have certain conditions, such as:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Heartbeat that’s faster than normal or whose rhythm is off
  • High blood pressure
  • Psychosis
  • Severe anorexia
  • Substance abuse problems
  • Tourette's syndrome

From: Adult ADHD: Treatment Overview WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”

U.S. National Library of Medicine: “Treatment of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.”

HelpGuide.org: “ADHD in Adults.”

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD): “Treatment, Medication Management, Coaching.”

American Family Physician: “Diagnosis and Management of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults.”

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on June 20, 2019

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”

U.S. National Library of Medicine: “Treatment of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.”

HelpGuide.org: “ADHD in Adults.”

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD): “Treatment, Medication Management, Coaching.”

American Family Physician: “Diagnosis and Management of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults.”

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on June 20, 2019

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Who shouldn't take stimulants to treat ADHD?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.