Before medication is considered for the treatment of ADD or ADHD your attitude towards taking prescription medication should be carefully weighed. Now is the time you want to carefully clarify exactly how you feel about medication. Take this opportunity and discuss it with your spouse, doctor or significant other.
Some of the information that should be covered includes but is not limited to the specific drugs that are being considered, the possible side effects, dosages and potential lifestyle adjustments that may be required.
After the initial testing period drug treatment requires a long term commitment to a regular schedule of medication. When starting any new medication there is a trial period that can last from weeks to several months as dosages are adjusted and side effects come to light.
Not everyone will experience the same results from the same medication. A percentage of people will encounter side effects that will limit the types of medication they can take for their Attention Deficit Disorder. The important thing to remember is that medication is not a cure. ADHD medication should be used in conjunction with other therapies and treatments to receive the most benefit.
Even when ADHD medication does provide a significant change, this can be a short lived experience. Many forms of Ritalin and Dexedrine only last about four hours. Unless there are contradictions such as psychosis, excessive anxiety or heart problems stimulants will usually be tried first in the line of ADHD medications, usually either Ritalin or Dexedrine.
The following is some general information on ADHD Medications, however you can also check out the Popular ADHD Medications and Lesser Known ADHD Medications pages for more information.
It almost sounds contradictory that Stimulants should work as a medication for Attention Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Why it seems to work, the current thoughts and research
The most frequently prescribed ADD and ADHD medication is Ritalin, also known as methylphenidate. Both Ritalin and Dexedrine have the best track record compared to other medications.
Ritalin comes in 5, 10, and 20 milligrams whose effects will generally last for between 3 and 4 hours. Effects can be seen in as little as 30 minutes. 60 milligrams is the maximum recommended daily intake. Ritalin also comes in a slow release form 20mg which can last between 7 and 8 hours.
Dexedrine is also known as dextroamphetamine, it comes in a 5 milligram dosage with effects being seen within 30 minutes of taking. The maximum daily dosage is somewhat lower than with Ritalin, 40 milligrams a day.
Dexedrine also comes in 5, 10, and 15 mg slow release “Spansules”. These last approximately 7 to nine hours and has a track record of being more reliable than the Ritalin slow release medication.
Cylert, also known as Pemoline used to come in only a slow release form with dosages in 18.75 mg, 37.5 mg and 75 mg, its effects can last 9 to 12 hours or longer.However as of March 2005 it is no longer be available in the United States.
Cylert takes a little longer to see the effects than both ritalin and dexedrine and also has the drawback that it must be taken everyday to maintain adequate levels in the blood stream. The full effects of Cylert taken for ADD ADHD medication can take up to three weeks to be seen.
Studies have shown that Ritalin and Dexedrine when both tried have a positive response rate of 70 to 85%. While neither one is preferable to the other some ADHD Patients respond better to one or the other.
What you are looking for in an ADD ADHD medication is a period of high functioning both social and behavioral, as well as a minimum of side effects.