Mental health disorders

ADHD

(Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)

  • Also known as
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • ADD

About ADHD

Is it hard for your child to sit still? Does your child act without thinking first? Does your child start but not finish things? If so, your child may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nearly everyone shows some of these behaviors at times, but ADHD lasts more than 6 months and causes problems in school, at home and in social situations.

ADHD is more common in boys than girls. It affects 3-5 percent of all American children.

The main features of ADHD are

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity

No one knows exactly what causes ADHD. It sometimes runs in families, so genetics may be a factor. There may also be environmental factors.

A complete evaluation by a trained professional is the only way to know for sure if your child has ADHD. Treatment may include medicine to control symptoms, therapy, or both. Structure at home and at school is important. Parent training may also help.

NIH: National Institute of Mental Health

Symptoms of ADHD
  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity

Top Medications for ADHD according to our users

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All Medications for ADHD

Stimulant

  • Adderall
    (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine)
    Prescription only

    Adderall (Dextroamphetamine / Amphetamine) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that's available as a generic, but it's a stimulant, so it can cause insomnia and other side effects.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
  • Daytrana
    (Methylphenidate)
    Prescription only

    Daytrana (Methylphenidate) is an effective medication used to treat ADHD and can be used as a patch.

    Was it worth it?
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Liquid
    • Pill
  • Desoxyn
    (Methamphetamine)
    Prescription only

    Desoxyn (Methamphetamine) is an effective and cheap medication used to treat ADHD, but it can be habit-forming and is not used for long-term treatment.

    Was it worth it?
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Dexedrine
    (Dextroamphetamine)
    Prescription only

    Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine) is an effective and cheap medication used to treat ADHD, but it can be habit-forming and is not used for long-term treatment.

    Was it worth it?
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
    • Liquid
  • Focalin
    (Dexmethylphenidate)
    Prescription only

    Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD that's available as a generic, but it's a stimulant, so it can cause insomnia and other side effects.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
  • Ritalin
    (Methylphenidate)
    Prescription only

    Concerta (Methylphenidate) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD. It comes in many different forms and is also available as a generic. That said, the immediate-release form needs to be taken more frequently than other alternatives.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
    • Chewable tablet
    • Oral solution
    • Liquid
    • Patch
  • Vyvanse
    (Lisdexamfetamine)
    Prescription only

    Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine) is a first-choice treatment for ADHD and you only have to take it once a day. However, it's only available as brand name drug, so it can be expensive.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Provigil
    (Modafinil)
    Prescription only

    Provigil (Modafinil) is effective in improving alertness, but it can interact with other medicines and shouldn't be used long-term.

    Was it worth it?
    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Antihypertensive > Alpha agonist

    • Kapvay
      (Clonidine)
      Prescription only

      Clonidine is a non-stimulant option to manage ADHD symptoms and behaviors, but it can lower your blood pressure.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Extended release
    • Catapres
      (Clonidine)
      Prescription only

      Catapres (Clonidine) is a good addition if you need more than one medicine to control your blood pressure, but it has a lot of side effects. You can't miss doses.

      Was it worth it?
      Men
      46%
      Women

      Not enough review data. Review it!

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release
      • Patch
    • Tenex
      (Guanfacine)
      Prescription only

      Tenex (Guanfacine) can be used to treat both blood pressure and ADHD, but it's not recommended as a first-line treatment for either problem.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release

Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)

  • Antidepressant > Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)

    • Effexor
      (Venlafaxine)
      Prescription only

      Effexor (Venlafaxine) is good for treating depression and anxiety. May work when other antidepressants haven't, it's but more likely to cause side effects and withdrawal symptoms than other antidepressants.

      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release
  • Antidepressant > Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA)

    • Pamelor
      (Nortriptyline)
      Prescription only

      Pamelor (Nortriptyline) is a good option for treating depression, especially for people who also have problems with persistent nerve pain.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Liquid

Medication side effects for ADHD

These are some of the most common side effects from clinical trials for dizziness.

  • Ritalin: 5%
  • Vyvanse: 15%
0 of 100

At this end, no one is expected to have dizziness

100 of 100

At this end, almost everyone is expected to have dizziness

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for ADHD

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Don't get stuck on adderall
  • Start off on Aderall causes insomnia and dependence.
  • I recommend to adults "You, me, or Adult ADD" it is tough and compassionate and it made me more comfortable with taking medication for ADHD, and convincing my partner to consider treating with medication. The way I put it was "Are you going to try harder, harder this time to stay on top of things, or are you going to try a stimulant medication and see if using a stimulant medication works as well for you as it does for me?" The book gave me the vocabulary to better describe my diagnosis, and to better separate symptoms from personality.
What’s your best coping strategy?
  • CRISPER
  • Staying focused using a timer for each allotted task
  • Besides meds and other chemical treatments (like coffee), I find that having somebody check up on me to keep me on-task is helpful.
  • Having that one person by my side to help me stay focused.
  • keeping a running task checky box on me
  • Consistency
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • Counselling
  • Having a great support system
  • Paychotherapy
  • scheduled outdoor activities
  • Sleep, exercise, healthy eating
  • Scheduling events in an hour to hour format planner!
  • mindfulness training