Stimulants Vs Nonstimulants Understanding ADHD Medications

stimulants versus non stimulants understanding ADHD medications ADHD medications generally belong to one of two broad classes stimulant or non-stimulant stimulants include brand names like adderall vyvanse ritalin and concerta non stimulants include strattera and in tennis among others so what are the important differences one stimulants the stimulant class of medication is typically prescribed first because it works for 70 to 80 percent of children with ADHD stimulants increased dopamine and norepinephrine levels between the brain synapses they work as soon as they cross the blood-brain barrier which takes 45 to 60 minutes the result reduced hyperactivity distractibility and/or impulsivity the FDA has approved 29 stimulant medications all of them use one of only two molecules methylphenidate or amphetamine the best choice hinges on an individual's biochemistry even family members may experience different results with the same medication two non stimulants for twenty to thirty percent of people with ADHD stimulants do not work they move on to try one of these fda-approved non stimulants atomoxetine clonidine guanfacine it often takes five to seven days to assess the full benefits of a non stimulant medication sustained focus improved mood greater attention to detail better memory better asleep and reduced impulsivity are all signs the treatment is working how do you choose the best option just as nothing predicts in advance which molecule will be best for a given child it turns out that nothing predicts the dose of medication either not weight height gender ethnicity or the severity of symptoms says ADHD specialist William Dodson MD the answer experimentation and patience


  1. That's the scary part- experimenting on my child. Then again, I only want what's best for him, and if it'll help, great. I just worry about the unknown and how it'll effect his brain long term.

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