ADHD Medication

What is there to know about ADHD Medication?

ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) medication is commonly used to manage the symptoms of ADHD, including hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness. There are different types of medications available, and the choice of medication depends on factors such as the individual’s age, symptoms, and medical history. It’s important to note that medication is just one component of a comprehensive treatment plan for ADHD, which may also include therapy, behavioral interventions, and educational support.

Types of ADHD Medications

The most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD are stimulants. These medications work by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that help regulate attention and impulse control. Stimulant medications are generally considered safe and effective for treating ADHD in both children and adults. Some commonly prescribed stimulant medications include:

  1. Methylphenidate: This is the generic name for medications such as Ritalin, Concerta, and Daytrana. These medications are available in short-acting and long-acting formulations.
  2. Amphetamines: Medications such as Adderall, Vyvanse, and Dexedrine fall into this category. Like methylphenidate, they are also available in different formulations with varying durations of action.

Nonstimulant medications may also be prescribed for individuals who cannot tolerate or do not respond well to stimulant medications. These medications work differently than stimulants and include:

  1. Atomoxetine: Sold under the brand name Strattera, atomoxetine is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It is typically prescribed for children, adolescents, and adults.
  2. Guanfacine: This medication, sold under the brand name Intuniv, is an alpha-2A adrenergic agonist. It is often used as an alternative to stimulants or as an adjunct treatment.

Side Effects and Considerations

Like any medication, ADHD medications can have side effects. Common side effects of stimulant medications may include decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, and increased heart rate or blood pressure. Nonstimulant medications may have different side effects, such as stomach upset, drowsiness, or dizziness.

It’s important to work closely with a healthcare provider when starting or adjusting medication for ADHD. They can help monitor the individual’s response to the medication, adjust the dosage if needed, and address any concerns or side effects that may arise.


ADHD medication is commonly used to help manage the symptoms of ADHD, including hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness. Stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate and amphetamines, are the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD. Nonstimulant medications, such as atomoxetine and guanfacine, may also be used as alternatives. It’s important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate medication and dosage for an individual with ADHD, as well as to monitor any potential side effects.

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