Medication is often a helpful part of the treatment plan for ADHD and other associated conditions, such as anxiety and depression. You may have heard the term “chemical imbalance in the brain.” The symptoms of ADHD result from biochemical differences in the brain; therefore, medications that adjust those chemical balances can significantly improve a patient’s daily functioning.
The most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD are stimulants, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin, Metadate and Dexedrine. Non-stimulants, such as Amantadine, Wellbutrin and Strattera, can also be prescribed. These medications are all safe and effective when used properly and work for 80% of the people who try them, helping increase mental focus.
All medications have associated risks and benefits, so our practitioners will work closely with you to evaluate whether or not these factors add up favorably for you. The most common side effect of a stimulant medication is appetite suppression, although there are sometimes instances of headache, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, feelings of jitteriness and anxiety, and insomnia. All these side effects can be reversed by lowering the dose, changing the medication, or stopping the medication altogether, and your clinician will work closely with you to adjust dosage as needed.
Medication should always be considered as part of an overall therapeutic plan that addresses all aspects of a patient’s condition. Diet, exercise, proper sleep and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that help shift the way a person thinks are every bit as important as prescription medication in providing a solution to a patient’s problems.
Our psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners can provide ongoing medication management. Since our medical providers treat these conditions regularly they are up to date on the most current research and best practices in the medication treatment of these conditions. It is the policy of our center (in adherence to best practice) that anyone seen for medication at our center must have an appointment with their provider at least once every 3 months. Your provider may allow some appointments to be done remotely but everyone must be seen in person at least once or twice a year.