Reducing Hyperactivity And Improving Attention In ADHD Patients
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Children as young as 3 years old can begin to exhibit symptoms that can continue into adulthood. Doctors may prescribe stimulants and non-stimulants to reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
How do stimulants work?
ADHD patients can take stimulants to increase the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters associated with attention, movement, and motivation. Dopamine and norepinephrine are produced during pleasurable activities. Dopamine, in particular, improves communication between nerves. Small doses can help ADHD patients have the energy and attention needed to stay alert.
Are stimulants effective?
Stimulants improve ADHD symptoms in about 70% of adults and 70-80% of children shortly after beginning treatment. Stimulants have been shown to reduce fidgeting, hyperactivity, and improve attention span. Best of all, stimulants are not considered addictive substances, although the risk for abuse is always present.
ADHD stimulants range from short-acting to intermediate-acting to long-acting medications. Patients usually take short-acting stimulants 2-3 times a day, while long-acting medications can be taken once a day. Each type of stimulant offers unique advantages, depending on a person’s ADHD symptoms. Stimulants can come in pill, patch, or liquid form.
Are ADHD stimulants for everyone?
Stimulants aren’t for everyone. Patients should consult a doctor to determine whether stimulant use is safe or not. Patients with conditions such as glaucoma, severe anxiety, overactive thyroid, Tourette’s syndrome, tics, and psychosis can negatively react to stimulant use. Children and adults who can’t handle stimulants can turn to FDA-approved non-stimulants and behavioral therapy to teach patients coping skills.
The importance of treating ADHD
Untreated ADHD symptoms in children and adults can lead to lasting consequences. For children, ADHD can delay social development and reduce the retention of information at school. Children and adults can end up hurt when engaging in risky behaviors. Treating ADHD with a mix of stimulants, non-stimulants, and behavioral therapy can help patients handle the condition more effectively. For more information about ADHD medication, speak with a pharmacist or healthcare provider.