When ADHD Medications Don’t Work?

How to know when a different drug Medications or dosage is needed

Medication to treat symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be very effective for children, making it easier for them to pay attention in school, maintain friendships and navigate in life. But for some children, these benefits have price effects such as weight loss due to loss of appetite and sleep disturbances.

With the careful adjustment, however, it is almost always possible to find a drug and dosage that works.

Stimulants to treat ADHD

The most commonly prescribed ADHD medications or family therapy near me are Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine); Ritalin (methylphenidate); Focalin (dexmethylphenidate); and Concerti (methylphenidate extended-release tablets). All of these drugs are stimulants, which are believed to work by increasing levels of a neurotransmitter in the brain called dopamine. This chemical is associated with motivation and attention, among other things. For many people with ADHD, stimulants boost concentration and the ability to concentrate while reducing hyperactive and impulsive behaviors.

For the most part, ADHD medications work with the help of ADHD therapist near me. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) ADHD treatment guidelines, at least 80 percent of children will respond to one of the stimulants.

When a drug doesn’t work or causes intolerable side effects, the options are usually to adjust the dose, either up or down, or to switch to another drug. For example, if Adderall isn’t relieving a child’s symptoms or making them cry a lot, then lowering their dosage or having them try one of the other stimulant medications may solve the problem.

A non-stimulant medication called Strattera (atomoxetine) is sometimes a good option for a child who cannot tolerate a stimulant. Some doctors have also started prescribing Strattera with a stimulant, which allows the dose of the stimulant to be lowered enough so that it no longer causes side effects.

Other ADHD Medications

Some alternative medications often used to treat ADHD include the drugs clonidine, which is sometimes prescribed under the brand name Catapres, and guanfacine (brand name Tenex). According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, they are effective for impulsivity, hyperactivity, and sleep disorders.

Treatment failure or something else?

Sometimes, if a child does not respond to two or three different stimulant medications and continues to hurt, their ADHD diagnosis may be wrong and something else may be causing their symptoms. In this case, the AAP advises pediatricians to re-evaluate the child’s diagnosis and tests for a coexisting disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or a learning disability or problem with behavior.

If you have a child with ADHD, trying out various medications and dosages to find what will work for them can be frustrating for both of you, so be sure to ask any pediatrician you may have questions.

Tell the doctor about any side affects you think are associated with your child’s treatment, and don’t be afraid to ask for changes.