Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can help relieve symptoms and make the condition less of a problem in everyday life.
ADHD can be treated with medication or therapy, but a combination of both is often best. Treatment is usually arranged by a specialist such as a pediatrician or a psychiatrist, although the condition can be monitored by a general practitioner.
There are 5 types of medications approved for the treatment of ADHD:
These drugs aren’t a permanent cure for ADHD, but they can help someone with the condition focus better, be less impulsive, feel calmer, and learn and practice new skills.
Some medications must be taken daily, others may only be taken on school days. Occasionally treatment breaks are recommended to assess whether the medication is still necessary.
If you were not diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood, a family doctor and specialist can discuss with you which medications and therapies are right for you.
If you or your child is prescribed any of these drugs, you will likely be given small doses at first, which can then be increased gradually.
the treatment is working effectively and check for any signs of side effects or problems.
It is important that you tell your GP about any side effects and speak to them if you think you need to stop or change your treatment.
Your specialist will discuss with you how long you should do it. take your treatment, but in many cases, treatment will continue as long as you help.
Related articles: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in youngsters
Methylphenidate is the most commonly used medication for ADHD. It belongs to a group of medicines called stimulants, which work by increasing activity in the brain, particularly in areas involved in controlling attention and behavior.
Methylphenidate may be offered to adults, adolescents, and children 5 years and older with ADHD.
The medicine can be taken as an immediate-release tablet (small doses 2 or 3 times a day) or as a modified-release tablet (once a day in the morning).
where the dose is distributed throughout the day).
Common side effects of methylphenidate include:
a slight increase in blood pressure and heart rate,
loss of appetite which may lead to weight loss or a small amount of weight gain,
anxious or tense
Lisdexamfetamine is a medicine that stimulates certain parts of the brain. Improves concentration, helps focus attention, and reduces impulsive behavior.
It may be offered to adolescents and children over the age of 5 with ADHD if at least 6 weeks of treatment with methylphenidate has not helped.
Adults may be offered first-line lisdexamfetamine in place of methylphenidate.
Lisdexamfetamine is taken as a capsule once a day.
Common side effects of lisdexamfetamine include:
decreased appetite which can lead to weight loss or poor weight gain aggression Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
Dexamfetamine is similar to lisdexamfetamine and works in the same way. It can be offered to adults, adolescents, and children over the age of 5 with ADHD. Dexamfetamine is usually taken as a pill two to four times a day, although it is administered orally.
The solution is also available.
Common side effects of dexamphetamine include:
- Decreased appetite
- Mood swings
- Arousal and aggression
- Diarrhea, Nausea, and Vomiting
Atomoxetine works differently than other ADHD medications.
It is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), meaning it increases the amount of a chemical called norepinephrine in the brain.
This chemical relays messages between brain cells, and increasing it can help with focus and impulse control.
Atomoxetine may be offered to adults, adolescents, and children over 5 years of age when methylphenidate or lisdexamfetamine cannot be used.
It is also approved for adult use when ADHD symptoms are confirmed.
Atomoxetine is available as a capsule and is usually taken once or twice a day. Common side effects of atomoxetine include:
a slight increase in blood pressure and heart rate,
- nausea and vomiting,
- stomach pain,
- difficulty sleeping,
has also been linked to some more serious side effects to be aware of, including suicidal thoughts and liver damage.
If you or your child feel depressed or suicidal while taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Guanfacine acts on part of the brain to improve attention span and lower blood pressure. It may be offered to adolescents and children over 5 years of age when use of methylphenidate or lisdexamfetamine is not possible.
Guanfacine should not be offered to adults with ADHD. Guanfacine is usually taken as a tablet once a day in the morning or evening.
Common side effects are:
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Abdominal pain
- Dry mouth
- In addition to medication,
various therapies can be helpful in treating ADHD in children, adolescents, and adults.
The therapy is also effective in treating additional problems, such as behavioral or anxiety disorders, that can occur with ADHD. which therapies can be used.
Psychoeducation means that you or your child are encouraged to talk about ADHD and its effects.
It can help children, teens and adults understand the ADHD diagnosis and can help them cope with and live with the condition.
Behavioral therapy supports caregivers of children with ADHD and can involve both teachers and parents. Behavior therapy often involves behavior management that uses a reward system to encourage your child to try to control their ADHD.
If your child has ADHD, you can identify the behaviors you want to encourage, such as B. sitting at the table to eat.
Then your child will get some kind of small reward for good behavior. For teachers, behavior management means learning to plan and structure activities, and praising and encouraging children for even small successes.
Parental Education and Training Programs
Yes If your child has ADHD, specially designed parental education and training programs can help you learn specific ways to speak, play, and work with your child to promote attention and behavior to improve. . can provide parent training before your child is officially diagnosed with ADHD.
These programs are usually organized in groups of around 10-12 parents. A program usually consists of 10 to 16 sessions with a maximum duration of 2 hours each.
Offering a parenting education and parenting program doesn’t mean you’ve been a bad parent:
it’s designed to teach parents and caregivers behavior management while building confidence in their ability to help their child and improve their relationship.
behave in social situations by learning how their behavior affects others.
Therapy (CBT) CBT is talk therapy that can help you cope with your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
A therapist would try to change how you or your child are feeling about a situation and possibly change their behavior.
CBT can be done with a therapist individually or in a group.
Other possible ADHD treatments
People with ADHD should eat a healthy and balanced diet. Do not eliminate any food before consulting a doctor.
Some people may notice a link between types of foods and worsening ADHD symptoms. If this is the case, keep a journal of what you eat and drink and what behavior follows.
Discuss this with your GP, who can refer you to a dietician (a health professional specializing in nutrition). Dietary Supplements Some studies suggest that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements may be beneficial for people with ADHD.
although the evidence for this is very limited. It is advisable to speak to a general practitioner before using any dietary supplement as some may react unpredictably with the medicine or make it less effective.
You should also keep in mind that some supplements should not be taken long-term as they can reach dangerous levels in your body.
ADHD Tips for Parents
If you are a parent of a child with ADHD:
- Make sure your family doctor or specialist can help you understand the difference between ADHD and other problems in your child.
- Think about who else needs to know about your child’s ADHD, e.g. B.
- How your school or daycare center will be informed about the side effects of medications your child is taking and what you should be aware of
- Meeting with people in local support groups can prevent you from feeling isolated and help you cope