The Stimulant Adjustment Process is also known as titration. It is the process whereby the correct dosage of ADHD or ADD medication is determined in the early stages of treatment. Research indicates that the best starting dosage for Ritalin is roughly .5 milligrams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight.
Its effects will depend largely on the individuals sensitivity to the medication and whether or not Ritalin will work better than Dexedrine. Usually one starts with a slightly lower dose than the medication to body weight estimate indicates allowing you to gradually adjust to the medication.
Your first dosages of the ADD or ADHD medication should be tried for 3 to 5 days. If there are no beneficial or negative side effects the dosage can be increased, then again after another 3 to 5 days.
The initial trial period for any ADHD medication should not be much longer than 5 days as any side effects should be noticed and to wait longer is to waste too much time.
This pattern is repeated until one of three things happens, side effects occur, the daily dosage limit is reached or as you had hoped, a higher level of social and behavioral functioning occurs.
The most important part of the process is a constant monitoring of the medications effectiveness and side effects.
Positive side effects of stimulant medications for attentions deficit disorder include an increase in the ability to concentrate, less impulsivity, less aggressiveness, less hyperactivity and restlessness.
While 90% of Attention Deficit Disorder patients taking stimulants will see little or no side effects which would require stopping treatment, it is reassuring to know that any negative side effects will disappear with the discontinuation of the medication or a switch to an alternative treatment.
Negative side effects from stimulant medications include:
- Appetite Suppression
- Stomach Aches
- Depression or Irritability
- Increased Hyperactivity
- Spasms or Bodily Tics
Insomnia is rare when taken earlier in the day, Head and Stomach Aches often occur with starting a new medication but soon disappear altogether.
Drowsiness is usually a sign that too much medication is being consumed while symptoms of Depression and Irritability may require an alternative medication or discontinuation of stimulants all together.
One should be on the lookout for Irritability or behavioral problems as the dosage wears off. In some cases the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be worse as the medication wears off than it was prior to taking the medication.
This only happens in less than 1 out of 5 cases. The symptoms usually only last for about a half hour to an hour.