Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, known as ADD until 1994 is one of the most common childhood disorders but it can continue into adulthood. Symptoms can vary from person to person, but most commonly the symptoms are, trouble staying focused and attentiveness, behavioral problems, and being overly hyperactive.
There are three different subcategories of ADHD. (Smith, and Segal) Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, mostly behavioral like acting out in class and not being able to get along with other children. Predominantly inattentive, a child could be sitting in class normally but not focusing on what is being said. Finally the combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive, is a ...view middle of the document...
Psychostimulants are used in ADHD cases of all severities and ages, however, most drugs are not approved for children under the age of 6. The most common drugs that are used are Adderall and all of its various forms, and Ritalin and its various forms.
Stimulants are not without their common side effects. It is not uncommon for a loss of appetite when starting the medication. If this happens it may cause a stunt in growth in adolescents so when starting the medication, they should be monitored closely as to make sure that they are not losing too much weight and slowing development. Other side effects are problems sleeping, headaches, and being jittery. More severe side effects are less common but could increase the risk of heart problems. They could also cause problems that are more psychiatric, like depression, anxiety & others. Normally if these side effects happen, the dose needs to be changed or there is in intolerance to the stimulant and the patient should be taken off and try a different method of treatment. Although stimulants help cut back on undesirable behavior while the medication is being taken, long term improvements in school, and relationships have not been proven.
In the cases of ADHD that are not effective, or have undesirable side effects, the next step would be to try non-stimulants. The first non-stimulant that the FDA approved of is a medicine called Strattera. It is used in all age groups as well. The next FDA approved medicine is called Intuniv, and its only used in adolescents in the ages of 6-17. The benefit of these non-stimulants is that they are not controlled substance so the same risk for abuse and Addiction is not there. They are smoother, as in with stimulants its almost an on and off switch when taking the stimulants. These non-stimulants they slowly start working then slowly wear off. (Nazario)
As effective as medicine is, it is not the only effective method, nor should it be the only method used. Children with ADHD can help improve their focus, their restriction of impulse, and reduce hyperactivity all by using some simple steps. Eating healthy and exercising is a large part. Also being coached on better social skills and things to that nature can greatly improve a child’s relationship with his or her peers and also help his or her stress and frustration with their disorder. (Block)
Making medicine successful is not as simple as it sounds. Since everyone responds differently to medication finding the right dosage will take several weeks. Also finding the right drug or the right combination of drugs is very hard. Finding a doctor who cares is very important. Many doctors do not care enough to truly monitor the medication so the first step is finding one who will. Another very important strategy is not just starting off on high doses of medicine, starting off at low doses then working up as needed. For some people low...