This review focuses on the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD in adults. It briefly addresses prevalence, diagnostic and differential diagnostic issues specific to adults. Stimulant medication, non-stimulant medication, and psychosocial treatments are thoroughly reviewed.
Many people equate ADHD treatment with medication. In fact, while medication for ADHD often improves attention and concentration, it typically does very little to help symptoms of disorganization, poor time management, forgetfulness, and procrastination—the very issues that cause the most problems for many adults with ADHD. Medication for ADHD is more effective when combined with other treatments.
Atomoxetine, guanfacine XR and clonidine XR are considered second-line second-choice treatments. Bupropion is a third line agent. It is in the class of medications known as selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
This is not the first non-stimulant medication for ADHD, though. Antidepressants, including Wellbutrin bupropion hydrochloride and tricyclics, like Desipramine and Imipramine, have long been considered second-line medications. They are sometimes used when two or more stimulants don't work, are contraindicated or cause too many side effects. Antidepressants are usually not considered to be as effective as stimulants, though.
Although there is no cure for the disorder, it can be successfully treated. There are several different approaches for treating adults, but generally some combination of medication and behavioral therapy yields the best results. However, the dosage and frequency of the medications may have to be adjusted.
About three times more boys than girls are diagnosed with ADHD. These children often have difficulty getting along with other children at school, at home, and in other settings. Children who have trouble with attention often have trouble learning as well.
For parents hearing that their child has ADHD, the diagnosis can be especially stressful. For children, whose brains are still developing, how they respond to treatment will be different from adults. Treatment for ADHD for people of all ages should be comprehensive.
Although there is a significant amount of research on medication treatment for children with ADHD, much less controlled research data has been conducted on medication therapy in adults. However, medication improves attention and reduces impulsivity in adults who have been correctly diagnosed with ADHD. Adults with ADHD may also frequently have other conditions such as depression or anxiety that may require additional treatment.
Austin, Ph. Zupanick, Psy. Stimulant-type drugs continue to be the drug of choice for both children and adults with ADHD.
Medication can help reduce symptoms of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity in children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHDformerly known as ADD. ADHD medication may help improve the ability to concentrate, control impulses, plan ahead, and follow through with tasks. Even when the medication is working, a child with ADHD might still struggle with forgetfulness, emotional problems, and social awkwardness, or an adult with disorganization, distractibility, and relationship difficulties.