ADD/ADHD Drug Guide – Part 2

In last week’s article, I began the discussion about the different types of drugs used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder with the group of stimulants known as Methylphenadates (Ritalin, Metadate, Focalin, and Methlyn).  This week we continue to look at stimulants known as Dextroamphetamines and Mixed Amphetamines.  By the way, if the names of these drugs seem overwhelming or a bit scary to you, they should!  Remember, we are looking at drugs that are controlled by the government because of the potential for serious side effects and abuse.  These can be VERY dangerous and you must learn all you can before allowing yourself or your child to take them! Continue reading “ADD/ADHD Drug Guide – Part 2”

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ADD/ADHD Drug Guide – Part 2

In the first article of this series, you learned that there are several classes of drugs used to treat ADD/ADHD:  Stimulants; Antidepressants; and Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.  We are going to start our overview with the class of Stimlulants.

Stimulants are drugs that work in the central nervous system to help the brain increase the circulation levels of those chemicals thought to be at a low level in persons with ADHD.  Stimulants are thoguth to help children and adults concentrate more easily and to help control other symptoms of ADHD.  While most people can take these drugs without difficulty, others have pretty serious side effects.  These can range from minor problems such as decreased appetite and delayed sleep onset, to more troubling symptoms such as tics and even hallucinations. Continue reading “ADD/ADHD Drug Guide – Part 2”

ADD/ADHD Drug Guide – Part 1

Whether we like it or not, pharmacology (the prescribing of medication) seems to be the first choice of professionals when faced with treating a child or adult with ADD/ADHD.

ADD/ADHD is believed to be a malfunction of the dopamine transmitter system in the brain.These transmitters are responsible for the reuptake of dopamine from the synaptic gap into the nerve cells.If the number of transmitters is too high, then the available dopamine is in short supply, and voila, ADD/ADHD symptoms appear!The drugs used by physicians are thought to target the dopamine system of the brain to alleviate symptoms.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to attempt to explain the different types of ADD/ADHD medications and how they are thought to work.In addition, you will begin to see that much of the hype surrounding these drugs has been produced by the drug companies that manufacture them.More hype equals better sales!

You need to understand and be aware that the pharmacology business is huge and the profits are staggering.While the argument can certainly be made that the drugs are beneficial for those suffering form ADD/ADHD, it is up to you to be a smart consumer.Educate yourself about these drugs before you buy into the drug company’s testimonials.

Let’s first review the 3 types of ADHD.

§Inattentive Only:This sufferer cannot pay attention, but is completely capable of sitting still and not causing disruption.This used to be known as ADD.

§Hyperactive/Impulsive:This is the person who can pay attention and focus, but cannot sit still no matter what!He might be impulsive, blurting out answers before called on, for example.Impulsivity is usually manifested by acting without thinking first about the consequences.

§Combined Inattentive/Hyperactive/Impulsive:This is the most commonly diagnosed of the three kinds, and as you can see, it includes all of the symptoms.

Continue reading “ADD/ADHD Drug Guide – Part 1”