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ADD Medications

Psychostimulant medications, including methylphenidate (Ritalin�) and amphetamines (Dexedrine�, Dextrostat�, and Adderall�), are by far the most widely researched and commonly prescribed treatments for ADHD. Several short-term studies have proven the safety and effectiveness of stimulants and psychosocial treatments for helping the symptoms of ADHD. Again, NIMH research has found that the two most effective treatment methods for elementary school children with ADHD are a closely monitored medication treatment and a treatment that combines medication with intensive behavioral interventions. In the MTA study, which included nearly 600 elementary school children across multiple sites, nine out of ten children greatly improved on one of these treatments.

Strattera, a non-stimulant medication unrelated to antidepressants is a safe alternative for parents who do not want to place their children on drugs which can potentially cause addiction. Strattera is not a controlled substance, therefore, the FDA has determined there is no risk of addiction. It may be used first-line in these scenarios, but other medications should be used if no results are seen within 8-12 weeks. Allow at least 4 weeks of therapy before evaluating whether the medication is working.

Antidepressant medications also may be used as a second line of treatments for children who show poor response to stimulants, who have unacceptable side effects, or who have other conditions with ADHD (such as tics, anxiety, or mood disorders). Clinical studies have shown that these drugs are effective in 60-70% of children with ADHD. While the medications were extremely helpful to most children, MTA study results show that medications alone may not be the best way to treat many children. For example, children who had other problems (e.g., anxiety, stressful home circumstances, lack of social skills, etc.), over and above the ADHD symptoms, seemed to benefit most from the combined treatment.

Careful medication management is important in treating a child with ADHD. The doctor is likely to begin with a low dose to test the child's response. For methylphenidate (Ritalin�), the usual dosage range is 5 to 20 mg given two to three times a day. The dose for amphetamines (Dexedrine� and Dextrostat� and Adderall�) is one-half the methylphenidate dose. Dosage requirements do not always correlate with weight, age or severity of symptoms in an individual patient. Some doctors prescribe a combination of medications. Dosages may need to be increased during childhood with increased lean body weight and decreases may be necessary after puberty. Different doctors use these medications in slightly different ways, and different children may respond differently to each medication.

The expected duration of treatment has increased during this past decade as evidence has grown that shows benefits extend into adolescence and adulthood. However, many factors make it hard for adolescents to continue using medications: once on medication, adolescents see their most obvious symptoms controlled, and think they don't need to take it regularly. The medications' short-lasting effects make it necessary to take them several times per day, although there are newer long-term medications now being offered. Parents often get frustrated with the limited results or side effects of the medication, and discontinue its use.

Here is more information from WikiAnswers contributors:

  • I have heard and experienced Wellbutrin as a effective means to cure A.D.D. I tried it 12 years ago for a short time but I couldn't sleep with it so I stopped it being much younger and having a addiction to ritalin I wanted my Ritalin back but the doctor said it made me to manicky. Now,12 years later I'm on Adderall but my doctor said if you want to grow old gracefully she would advise me to get off the Adderall so I've reduced it to 25mgs. from 30mgs. and try Wellbutrin again but a few years ago about 3yrs. I tried Wellbutrin again and at that time it didn't work. I would like to get off Adderall and get on something that isn't habit forming such as Wellbutrin.
  • Psychiatric drugs are poisonous. ADD drugs can stunt growth or cause depression or OCD. Some children have even died from this stuff, and it isn't worth risking that just to get better behavior or to get your child to pay better attention. For more information try these sites: Ritalin Death, Drug Awareness. Two other sites are sntp and prozactruth, but I don't know if they are .org or .com.
  • I was in second grade when my mom had me tested for ADD/ADHDzperiodz i am now a 19 year old college student. From the time I was in 2nd grade until about a year and a half ago I was taking Ritalin. To some people they may think it is a bad drug or poison but to me I never would have been able to finish school and be where I am today. The only thing about the Ritalin was that i had to take it 3x a day. As I grew older it was becoming harder to remember to take. Thats why for the past year and a half i have been taking what is called Concerta. The only difference between them are with Concerta you only take 1x a day. I personally have only one side effect which is an increased appetite. But to those of you who are not sure to medicate your child or not please take my advice to heart. Like I said I would not be where i am today if it weren't for my mother taking that next step to put me on meds.
  • Many different meds are used. When I was diagnosed with ADHD I wasn't tested at all my grades were looked at and my teacher and parents were talked to about my behaviors and then I was simply put on Ritalin. I took ritalin until the 7th grade at that time I decided that I wanted to try to overcome my disorder without the use of drugs. Two of the many reasons was it was so hard to remember to actually take the pills and since I took 1 during school everyday my classmates found out and i was tormented and teased because i was different. I went into a depression when this occurred starting in fifth grade but I cant blame that completely on the pills. Besides being tormented my parents were also going through a divorce at that time. After I was off the pills for a while I was doing all right but as went to 8th grade we decided that i wasnt ready to deal with this on my own without meds. But instead of putting me back onto ritalin we decided to try a relativly new drug at the time: Concerta. I was on Concerta for about a year and a half until i decided once again to handle this with the use of meds. Its now been a year since I made that choice and I dont regret it. I am now a sophomore in high school and am mainly a B student with a few grades higher and very little lower than that. I am still disorganized and sometimes I dont focus well but I am succeding in overcoming that day by day. I now can lead a normal teenage life without meds than i could when i was on meds. My method may not be for every child though. Every child's case of ADD/ADHD is different in some way. Some may need meds where others may find that meds cause more trouble than good. Some children may be diagnosed with this disorder not because they have it but because they are just being kids. If you think your child may be one those who have been wrongly diagnosed please do them a favor by getting a 2nd opinion from another Dr. about the Diagnosis. A wrong diagnosis combined with unneeded meds could produce disasterous results. Find out before its too late.
  • I stumbled upon this article when searching for answers regarding my own child. she takes Children's DHA (fish oil) and she has improved 100%. Read about all the benefits of Omega 3 here:
  • ADD is not a disease, thus no one drug works on all people. Schedule II drugs are most often prescribed. Children start with a Central Nervous System stimulant, which actually has a calming effect. Ritalin is the 4-hour form, and Concerta is the 12-hour form.

These drugs only help the person focus, after they have used self-motivation & self-discipline, and purposefully started to focus.

Adults have normally dealt with untreated ADD symptoms, lifelong. Therefore, many have been depressed for most of their life.

Adults will start with an antidepressant, such as Wellbutrin. Thereafter, treatment with Concerta may be introduced.

Nutritional supplements which may work included Pedi-active, which contains DMAE. It too temporarily aids focus, and is available in a grape-flavored, chewable tablet. Normally, it works for about one month. Then the body develops a tolerance to it, and it stops working.

Overall, ADD coaching will help with most of the symptoms. There are several good books. has a good selection, and often lets you read a few pages of the book, online.

Parents, friends, spouses can help with coaching... you don't need a professional, necessarily. Coaching can change some of life's behaviors.

However, the root problem soon becomes apparent: Inability to maintain focus.

Often, adults that do not get treatment tend to self-medicate, unless they find an occupation which fits their mindset.

Such jobs may include Computer Operator or Entrepreneur. The job needs to be long on quick decisions & movement, short on paperwork, sitting, and reading technical manuals.

An ADD individual is likely to get an 'A' in Chemistry Lab, but an 'F' in Chemistry Lecture.

They are often above average intelligence, which is important since many times, they perform with little or no preparation.

Children can get into young adulthood, before ADD/ADHD problems adversely affect their lives, overall. If medication is perceived to be required, then it will bar that person from eligiblity for military service.

Some communities attach a negative stigma to medication, or psychological counseling. Other communities consider someone who has never had therapy to be the odd one.

Whether to medicate may be a social choice, as well.

(I played football in high school, served honorably the USMC, graduated with a BSBA, and only realized I had ADD at 43, due to "inattention to detail" complaints from my supervisor. Only after 5-months of 'self-discipline' failed did I seek other possibilities. Wellbutrin was a good start, Concerta adds focus, but motivation to study, and discipline to open the book must come from my own resolve.)

  • Concerta sort of looks like a capsule. However, it is a Capsule with a pin-hole on one end. It is coated with tablet material, dissolves immediately to give your first bursts of medication. After dissolution, the pin-hole is cleared. There are two membranes [thus three chambers] inside.

The chamber nearest the hole has medication that will exit, slowly, for several hours. Then, the medication in the middle chamber will pass through the permeable membrane, into the hole-side chamber, and out the hole. The third chamber, farthest from the hole, is slightly pressurized. It is used to squeeze the medicine out of the other two chambers. The third chamber contents remains inside the capsule, and the undissolved capsule shell is passed out of the body through the stool. This time-release technology allows Concerta to be patented. Ritalin tablets now have generic alternatives. Concerta, due to patents in its delivery, does not have a generic alternative. Without insurance, Concerta costs about $3 per capsule, regardless whether they are 18mg, 36mg, or 54mg. Ask your physician for a manufacturer voucher, if you need to try Concerta. You will get 42 of the 18mg pills. It is intended so you find out if it will work for you, over a 3-week period.

Wellbutrin should be taken before bedtime, since it causes a two-hour drowsy period, two hours after being taken. The medication works for 24-hours. 150mg is the starting dosage, but 300mg is common.

Concerta should be taken at the start of your workday, or the 12-hour period where you plan to be awake, thus need focus (attention to detail).

  • For the Wellbutrin... it has a side effect of insomnia. It for some people should be taken at the start of the day. So you can sleep at night. For some people the cocktail of Wellbutrin and a ADHD medication is prescribed. It's a medication mix that works well for a lot of people, now Adderall is one that is prescribed for ADD and works well with Wellbutrin. Everyone is different though. Tolerence is different. Coaching life skills is another therapy that works well. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Those are all great keys to success with treating ADD.
  • ** For a no drug alternative energy medicine the Australian Bush Flower Essences combinations Cognis (for short attention span and better retention and recall) Calm & Clear Essence for less repetitive actions and overall calmer.

    For behavior problems alternating with the ABFE combination Adol might be useful.

    "Australian Bush Flower Healing" by Ian White

    ISBN-10: 073380

    Yahoo email group discussing Australian Bush Flower Essences


  • An Alternate therapy for ADD is Oil of Oregano under the tongue. A holistic physician would be able to offer dosage advice.

The newest and most effective all natural supplement alternative for ADD is ADD-care. ADD-care was involved in a research study at the Amen Clinic comparing the results of ADD-care vs. Adderall in both SPECT brain scans and the Conner's ADD impulse test. ADD-care matched or beat adderall in most of these tests.


"Next Generation" psycho-stimulants The pharmaceutical industry has spent quite a lot on R&D in search of new delivery mechanisms to address convenience by improving on the extended release formulation and reduce the possibility of abuse. Two of these include:

1. Daytrana (methylphenidate trans-dermal patch) - I believe this may be discontinued or if not a "special order" not carried by most pharmacies.

This is interesting as it is a patch (similar to the nicotine patch for quitting smoking) that is applied once in the morning and worn all day.


2. Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine - dextroamphetamine bound to an amino acid which is only released by some digestive system process and therefore cannot be taken by any other route).


Both of these were designed to give a controlled dosage throughout the entire day with a more steady delivery than the older XR (extended release) medications. Personally I found the Daytrana to be unpredictable though admittedly I only used the 2 week free trial before giving up. I had an allergic reaction to the Vyvanse and stopped after two days.

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You can compare ADHD drugs and their prices in online pharmacies on the website Gesundheit-Service. com

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Nothing with a positive effect!

Riding my exercise bike fast, breathing deep for half of a tenth of a mile, then reg. breathing the next half of a tenth of mile. And doing this for a whole mile; takes my ADD away for about 12 Hours!

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Q: What medications are used to treat ADD?
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