What All Parents Must Know About Stimulant ADHD Medication
There are various kinds of medication to treat the symptoms of ADHD. Stimulant medication is the most conventional way of treating ADHD and is also the type of medication used the longest to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. This is also the kind of drugs that are researched the best and has the most concrete proof of their effectiveness.
The most popular drug in this category is Ritalin and other stimulants known as Dexedrine, and Adderall. The main function of stimulants is to suppress impulsive and hyperactive behavior and enhances concentration and the ability to remain focused.
Stimulants also come in two categories namely long and short acting stimulants. Long acting stimulants are taken once a day and works on an extended release of about 8 to 12 hours. Short acting stimulants must be taken between 2 and 3 times per day and peak after a couple of hours.
In most instances and especially with children, long acting stimulants are prescribed because of the forgetfulness associated with ADHD. In addition it is also more convenient and more suitable for most types of lifestyles.
Some of these stimulant medications can cause some changes in the personality of a child. It is reported that some kids become less spontaneous, listless, withdrawn, rigid, and less talkative. In some instances some children develop obsessive compulsive symptoms. Another concern is that because stimulants increase the heart rate and raise blood pressure, some specialists have concern about the risks associated with taking this kind of medication too long.
4 Main Risks of ADHD Stimulant Medication
Apart from the side effects of stimulant medication for ADHD, some medical experts warn against the risks and safety concerns associated with these drugs in children.
Who Can Not Use ADHD Stimulants
- Effect on the Brain of a Child
The long term effect of stimulant ADHD medication on the brain development of children is not yet established. Some specialists are concerned that the use of this kind of medication can restrict or interfere with the normal development of the young brain.
- Heart Problems
Sudden death has been reported in users of ADHD medication in both children and adults. It is strongly advised to take your child for a cardiac evaluation before starting stimulant medication for ADHD. It is even more important if the child has a history of hart problems or if there is a history of heart problems in the family.
- Psychiatric Problems
People with a family history or personal history of bipolar disorder, depression, and a history of suicide should be extra careful when using stimulants for ADHD. This medication can trigger or intensify aggression, depression, hostility, anxiety, and paranoia symptoms. Any person or child that has any of these conditions or symptoms should be carefully monitored during the use of stimulants.
- Abuse Risk
Stimulants that are prescribed for the use of ADHD treatment are often abused and a significant increase in stimulant abuse has been reported the past few years. Some children abuse ADHD stimulant medication when they want to party through the night or to boost their concentration ability to study for important tests or exams. It is also commonly found that some kids abuse ADHD stimulant medication as a weigh loss solution. Therefore, if your child is taking this kind of medication, make sure that you keep an eye on the quantities and make sure your child is using his medication and not sharing or selling it to other kids.
People with the following medical conditions can not use ADHD stimulant medication:
When ADHD Stimulants are Not an Option
- History of Any kind of Drug Abuse
- High Anxiety Levels
- High Blood Pressure
- Any kind of hart disease or defect
When your child is taking stimulant medication for ADHD and experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
- Breath shortness
- Pain in the chest area
- Spells of paranoia or being over suspicious
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