Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral developmental disorder, characterized by inattentiveness or hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Often ADHD is manifested in children of school age and persists for the entire life.
ADHD cannot be completely cured or prevented. However modern diagnostics and ADHD meds combined with behavioral therapy help to take the ADHD symptoms under control and minimize negative consequences of destructive behavior.
The use of ADHD meds allowed many people to develop their social skills, to learn to concentrate, to be productive and successful. So there are no compelling reasons to refuse from ADHD treatment. At least this reason is not some contraindication for ADHD meds.
In modern medicine, ADHD meds are divided into stimulants and non-stimulants of the CNS. The first CNS stimulants, approved by the FDA for ADHD treatment, are:
* Amphetamine mixed salts (Adderall trademark);
* Methylphenidate (trademarks: Concerta, Daytrana, Metadate, Methylin and Ritalin).
Later the ADHD meds list was replenished by such CNS stimulant medications as:
* Dextroamphetamine (trademark Dexedrine);
* Dexmethylphenidate (trademark Focalin);
* Lisdexamfetamine (trademark Vyvanse).
The ADHD meds listed above help to increase the levels of neurotransmitters of dopamine in the brain. Exactly this feature of ADHD meds helps to improve attention and control hyperactivity.
The fact that ADHD meds, stimulating the CNS, allow to control the behavioral disorders, proves that:
* some meds listed above, have been successfully used for the ADHD treatment for decades.
The main disadvantage of the first ADHD meds is that they had short-term therapeutic activity. Therefore they had to be taken several times a day. Along with studying the disease and developing the pharmaceutics, scientists kept working over ADHD meds that are now available in various dosage forms, causing:
* short-term effect (oral solution, oral suspension)
* medium-term effect (chewable tablets, coated pills)
* long-term effect (extended release pills, transdermal patch)
It must be said that ADHD meds, stimulating the CNS, can be contraindicated for patients, whose behavioral disorder is associated with any other disease.
In this case, doctor should prescribe the ADHD meds that do not affect the CNS functions, such ADHD meds as:
* Atomoxetine (trademark Strattera);
* Clonidine (trademark Kapvay);
* Guanfacine (trademark Intuniv).
Using non-stimulants ADHD meds helps to control the ADHD symptoms in children and adults as effectively as the CNS stimulants. But in some cases, non-stimulant ADHD meds are the only option to stop the progression of ADHD symptoms and improve the quality of life.
The FDA approved ADHD meds significantly relieve the ADHD symptoms. But when they are taken along with behavioral therapy, they can eliminate the impulsiveness and hyperactivity, and also speed up the adaptation of a person to changing conditions of the social environment.
Proper use of ADHD meds reduces the risk of side effects to minimum. And at the beginning of ADHD treatment, potential ADHD meds side effects are: dizziness, trouble sleeping, abdominal pain and appetite loss. The ADHD meds side effects are usually mild and do not require termination of medicamentous therapy.
One should abandon the use of ADHD meds in case cardiovascular side effects arise during the treatment course. Before starting the treatment with ADHD meds, one must make sure that a child or adult is not subject to risk of stroke, heart attack or any other cardiovascular disorders.
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