Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder helps control the onset of symptoms of the disease, including inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. A holistic, correct approach to treatment can significantly improve human activities in various fields, such as school, work, relationships with people in different social circumstances.

The treatment of ADHD is multifaceted. As a rule, medications for ADHD, therapy to change behavior, or both are used together. In each case, an individual program is selected that best meets the needs of the patient and his family.

What kind of treatment is most recommended for children and adolescents?

Studies have confirmed the safety of using stimulant medications and behavioral therapy. These treatments have a much more extensive effect than simply relieving the symptoms of ADHD. They improve the child’s ability to adhere to the rules and build relationships with peers and with parents.

There are currently two strategies that have been proven effective in treating ADHD in children of primary school age. The first of these is the use of medications in a strictly prescribed manner and under strict supervision. The second is based on a combination of medicines with intensive behavioral therapy. One of the large studies showed that nine out of ten children showed significant improvements after the use of one of these programs.

The most effective method in the treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD is a multi-pronged approach. It consists of many elements that work best when combined, complementing each other. The components of this approach to treating ADHD are as follows:

  • Education, both for parents and for the child, regarding diagnosis and treatment.
  • Medicines for ADHD.
  • Behavioral management therapy.
  • The involvement of school teachers.
  • The involvement of school teachers.

What medications are used to treat ADHD in children?

Medications used for the primary treatment of ADHD are stimulants and antidepressants. Psychostimulants are prescribed in all cases. These are such medicines as methylphenidates — Ritalin, Metadine, Concerta, or amphetamines — Dexedrine, Dextrostat, and Adderal.

Recently, Atomoxetine, registered under the name of Strattera, has been used. This medicine is classified as non-stimulant medicine. The principle of its impact is very similar to the principle of the work of psychostimulants. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that carry nerve impulses. Stratter affects the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. The principle of its action, as well as the result in the treatment of ADHD, is similar to the effect of stimulant drugs. But at the same time, it is not a controlled substance, respectively, the likelihood of abuse and dependence on this drug is much lower. In addition, Strattera does not cause the appearance of many side effects arising from the use of stimulants. Another of the recently invented drugs is Vivance, which is also very effective.

Practice has shown that the use of antidepressant Velbutrin is very beneficial in the treatment of ADHD. This drug can be a very good alternative to the use of stimulants in cases when there is addiction or abuse of them.

Antidepressants have a positive effect on all three of the main symptoms of ADHD: inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These drugs are an alternative for those children with ADHD who have inadequate response to stimulants. They are also used as an alternative solution for children in whom stimulants have caused unacceptable side effects, such as insomnia or nervous tics.

Studies have shown that different types of antidepressants may be helpful in treating ADHD. For example:

Tricyclic antidepressants are effective for both children and adults. Preparations of this type, among other things, are also relatively cheap. But at the same time, they can cause side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, urinary problems. The following drugs are tricyclic antidepressants:

  • Pamela
  • Aventil
  • Tofranil
  • Norpramine
  • Pertrofran
  • Buy Wellbutrin Online is very effective in treating ADHD in children and in adults. This drug is usually well tolerated by patients. But it can also cause some side effects, especially palpable for people suffering from headaches, anxiety and seizures.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are Prozac medications. Examples of tested drugs from this group are Lexapro and Zoloft.
  • Effexor and Effexor XR are antidepressants of a new generation. They increase the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. These drugs are effective for improving mood and increasing the ability to concentrate attention in adults, as well as in children and adolescents.

Antidepressant monoamine oxidase inhibitors are a group of drugs used to treat ADHD. They are rarely used because of significant and sometimes very dangerous side effects. In addition, they can interact in a very dangerous manner with food and other medicines. But these drugs can be an option for those patients whose treatment with other substances was not effective. These drugs include Nardil or Parnat.

For the treatment of some children use a combination of stimulant drugs and antidepressants. In particular, this approach is good for children in whom ADHD is accompanied by conditions such as depression, anxiety, or mood disorders.

Catapres and guanfacine are drugs commonly prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure. But they also showed some efficacy in ADHD. They are used either as a separate drug or in combination with stimulant medications. Their main effect is to improve the use of mental abilities, as well as behavior in people with ADHD.

Are there any side effects of drugs for ADHD?

Sometimes medications for ADHD give side effects. They usually manifest themselves at an early stage of treatment, with what are moderate and last a short period of time. The most common of these are the following:

  • Reduced appetite / weight loss.
  • Sleep disorders
  • Headaches.
  • Syndrome of increased neuro-reflex excitability.
  • Social detachment.
  • Stomach ache.
  • The appearance of acne.

Antidepressants can cause side effects such as heart palpitations or a change in heart rate, dry mouth, headaches, drowsiness, and lethargy. These medicines should be taken under more careful supervision of a doctor.

In most cases, the doctor can control the side effects of drugs for ADHD with one of the following strategies:

  • Dosage change
  • Selection of the most appropriate schedule for taking drugs
  • Use of other medicines

If your child has any side effects after taking medications for ADHD, contact your doctor. Do not change the prescriptions yourself without first consulting with the doctor.

How does behavioral therapy help with ADHD?

Some forms of behavioral therapy have very little effect on patients with ADHD. But there is one treatment option for controlling behavior that can give very good results. It can be used in combination with medicines, and by itself.

In cases where behavioral therapy is used, a licensed specialist — a psychologist, a social worker, or a family doctor — works with both the parents of the child and his teachers. At the same time, such a specialist will teach you some techniques of children’s behavioral therapy.

You and your child’s teachers will be taught to perceive his behavior as a manifestation of ADHD, and not as a negative deviation in behavior. The purpose of such training is to teach you to focus on the right behavior and at the same time ignore the minimal manifestations of bad behavior.

You will also learn how to give your child the correct clear instructions and will be able to establish an effective program of motivations. As a motivating tool, you can use rewards, such as symbolic gifts, tickets, or points. In this way, both you and your child’s teacher will learn how to control their behavior: you can influence their actions by encouraging or banning privileges for the time being.

Behavioral therapy includes the following elements:

  • Setting goals – You need to teach your child how to set goals and achieve them. Examples of goals include the following: bringing the case (housework, etc.) to the end, completing homework assignments, behaving in a friendly way while playing with friends, sitting at a desk for an hour or more.
  • Rewards and consequences – it is important for the child to receive the proper reaction to actions – either reward or punishment – depending on the behavior. For example, you can allow him to spend more time at the computer if he / she behaved well and achieved the goals. And vice versa – bad behavior should be punished by depriving such privileges.
  • Sequential therapy over a long period of time – it is very important to use goal setting, a system of rewards and punishments until your child has mastered these behavioral changes as his own.

The guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend medication, behavioral therapy, and a combination of these approaches for treating children with ADHD. One study conducted by the National Institute of Psychiatry showed that patients for whom behavioral therapy was used showed fewer ADHD symptoms or a general reduction in the symptoms of the disorder.

When you select the safest and most effective method of treating ADHD for your child, remember that treatment is chosen for each patient individually, based on their needs. Be sure to discuss with the doctor which of the approaches may be the best for the child.

Can ADHD be treated with diet and vitamins?

Some time ago, both parents of children with ADHD and their attending physicians hoped that with the help of variations in nutrition one could achieve the desired results – eliminate nutritional supplements, sugar, salt and thus cure ADHD. Some experts used increased doses of vitamins and natural dietary supplements, believing that this would help fight the disease. Some parents argued that a gluten-free diet helped their children alleviate their symptoms.

Of course, a balanced diet is the most important factor in good health. But scientific studies show that dietary factors and vitamin deficiencies are not the cause of ADHD.

How are ADHD treated in adults?

Combination treatment is also very suitable for adults with ADHD. The combination includes the following elements:

  • cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • medicines.
  • support and education, including family and individual support groups.
  • skill training.

Stimulant medications are most commonly used for the treatment of ADHD in adults. In fact, about 58% of adults with ADHD argue that while taking stimulant medications they improve their ability to concentrate and there is a decrease in hyperactivity and impulsivity.

If stimulating drugs have too strong side effects or are not effective, your doctor may recommend taking atomoxetine (Strattera), a non-stimulating drug. Strattera is the first drug approved by the Commission on Medicines and Nutrients for the treatment of ADHD in adults.

Some antidepressants, such as bupropion (Velbutrin), or tricyclic drugs (imipramine, nortriptyline and desipramine) are also sometimes used in the treatment of adults with ADHD.

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