Medicines for ADD ADHD
Like everything else, this is going to be harder and take more time than I thought.
To repeat – everyone is unique. What works for one won’t for another. You need trial and error to find the right medicine at the right dose on the right schedule that works for you. For some, these medicines work a miracle, for some, they are helpful, and for others, no.
Methylphenidate – Ritalin (plain, long-acting, sustained-release, in a skin patch), Concerta, Daytrana, Focalin, Focalin XR, Methylin, Medadate CD/ER. Most common possible side effects are stomach upset, anxiety, loss of appetite; these can usually be managed and minimized if they do occur. Safe, but use carefully with heart problems or high blood pressure. Not very addictive but are being abused/misused by college students. Probably not helpful unless you have ADD ADHD. Very expensive brand-name, but generic is available for some. An advantage is you can take them when you want and leave them off when you want.
Amphetamines – Adderall, Adderall XR, Dexedrine, Vyvanse (less abusable)- Probably not more effective than methylphenidate, although they will be for some people. Probably more addictive and more abused. Side effects, probably about the same. Again, use or not when you want to.
From Oren Mason MD based on newly published research:
- We are beginning to understand the causes of ADHD. ADHD is a condition that involves abnormal brain function.
- Specifically, normal folk have capabilities in their brains that ADHD folk don’t. So far, the reverse hasn’t been seen.
- Stimulant medications restore (at least some) normalcy to brain function. They are not–as they are sometimes described–giving ‘speed’ to normal brains. They bring normal brain function to people who were born without it.
- These findings have been so consistent across multiple studies, that they can be considered “scientifically proven”.
I have no experience with the amphetamines. Medicines are not The Answer for most people. I recommend medicines, strategies (often with coaching) and therapy (to deal with the underlying shame, low self-esteem, depression, etc.). You need a careful evaluation to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms and comorbid conditions which are frequent. I don’t think these medicines calm us down. I think they basically help us focus and then we can calm down. I haven’t been able to clarify the actions of stimulating release of norepinephrine and dopamine from the neurons versus blocking their reuptake, or both. I get conflicting stories.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Lots more, especially about Ritalin:
I am hoping to get some clarifying comments, as well as any questions you may have.