How is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) treated?

  • Stimulants. Stimulants are the mainstay of ADHD treatment. This medicines include methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin), dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), and pemoline (Cylert -- may cause rare, severe hepatotoxicity)
  • Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine combination. Adderall is also useful in children and adults with ADHD. Once-daily Adderall is as effective as twice-daily methylphenidate and both are superior to once-daily methylphenidate
  • Atomoxetine (strattera). Strattera is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor and one of the only non-stimulant ADHD medications.
  • Adjuncts. Adjuncts are given with other medications or treatments. Adjunct drug therapies include tricyclic antidepressants (rare cardiac deaths in children and adolescents warrant caution); serotonin reuptake-inhibiting antidepressants (new warnings have been added for use of these medications in children), bupropion (safer but efficacy not as well documented), clonidine, and neuroleptics.

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