Parents of children with ADHD often face difficult decisions about ADHD medications and treatments. Fortunately, there are many types of ADHD medications for children. There are also various treatment strategies that parents can consider. However, not every medication or treatment is right for every child, and parents may need to find the right treatment through a trial and error process.
There are certain popular ADHD medications that are used by a majority of children with the condition. These medications include Ritalin, Concerta, and Metadate. Two other drugs that are commonly recommended by doctors are Adderall and Dexedrine.
However, there are downsides to taking ADHD medication. The first downside is that most ADHD medications require several dosages per day. This means that a child may have to take pills at school and in other cases when a parent may not be present. Parents may not always find it easy to coordinate dosage times, especially if a child is very busy and socially active. Furthermore, medications that must be taken in three to four hour intervals may feel overwhelming for both the parent and child.
Another downside to ADHD medication is the potential side effects related to ADHD drugs. Two common side effects are weight loss and loss of appetite. Other common side effects could include upset stomach, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. Some ADHD medications cause mood swings and parents may feel they are simply exchanging one set of behavior problems for another. For some, the side effects from medication far outweigh the benefits.
ADHD medications may also become habit forming. This could lead to drug abuse and addiction. Some ADHD sufferers who have become addicted to medication suffer terrible withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking their medication or switch to a different treatment. Every person responds differently to ADHD medication. Some people have a significant improvement, while others may experience little to no relief at all.
Many healthcare professionals would not recommend depending on medication alone to help a child alleviate ADHD symptoms. Some would recommend combining ADHD medications with behavioral therapy. Behavioral modification therapy allows doctors to dramatically lower doses of ADHD medications that a child must take.
Medication isn’t the only treatment option for children with ADHD. There are a variety of nondrug options that can have a substantial impact. One powerful ADHD treatment is exercise. Exercise is an easy and effective way to reduce ADHD symptoms. Exercise helps alleviate ADHD symptoms by boosting the brain’s dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels – all of which affect a child’s focus and attention. Eating right can also help reduce symptoms. Children should eat healthy meals and snacks. Also, getting enough iron, zinc and magnesium all work to combat ADHD symptoms.
Fidgeting, inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are all symptoms of ADHD. Children may experience these symptoms on a regular basis, but a good ADHD treatment should eliminate or greatly reduce these symptoms. If a medication or treatment doesn’t seem to work at reducing or eliminating ADHD symptoms, parents should look for additional options until they find something that works.