Attention Deficit Disorder and Medication: The Basics

ADHD and Medication:

the Basics  


Medication for Children and Adults


Treatments for Children and Adolescents

Strattera (atomoxetine) A critical look at a new medication


Beyond Ritalin: A Humorous Look at Medications for AD/HD

New Medications for Adults with AD/HD


ADHD Home Site

AD/HD and Medication: The Basics

There has been controversy about the use

of medications to treat both children and adults with Attention Deficit Disorder There

have been articles debating whether Ritalin is over or under prescribed. When people ask

me about this, I tell them that I can only answer for the children and adults that I have

evaluated or treated. Yes, there probably are some individuals who have received

medication when some other treatment might have been better. On the other hand, there are

probably others who were not been diagnosed for years and could have benefited from

medication. Finally, even if someone has attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and is on

medication, is it the best medication, dosage and timing?

Medication can be quite helpful if prescribed in the right context.

First the individual needs a thorough evaluation. If medication is prescribed, it should

be followed closely. Small changes in timing and size of doses can make a difference.

Although Ritalin is the best known medication for ADHD, there are a

number of other useful medications. For individuals who have an incomplete response to one

medication, the doctor can often work with the patient to find another medication or

combination that does control symptoms. Some of the secondary medications may require

closer monitoring during the initial phase of treatment.

Sometimes medication failure is due to lack of communication between

patient and doctor. (and sometimes school) The doctor, patient and family should be clear

about exactly which symptoms they expect the medication to treat. Patients should ask

questions. They should inform the doctor if there are side effects or if the medication

does not seem to be working.

If medication is still not working as expected, it may be time to

re-evaluate the diagnosis. Individuals with ADHD may also have other disorders at the same

time. Anxiety and depression may superficially resemble ADHD. Occasionally a medical

illness may masquerade as a psychiatric condition.

Medication can only take the individual part of the way to recovery.

Therapy, community support, coaching and the individuals own determination are important

parts of treatment.

Carol Watkins, MD

Read Our Collection of

Original Articles on Adult and Pediatric AD/HD

Atomoxetine (Strattera: A New Treatment for AD/HD

Treatment of Girls and Women with Attention Deficit


Is It AD/HD or Bipolar Disorder?


and Addiction

AD/HD and Co-Morbidity: The Tip of the Iceberg


and Bedwetting


Your Mail and Bills


High Cost of AD/HD


with Stimulant Side Effects


with Attention Deficit Disorder: How ADD can affect your home.

Adult Attention Deficit Disorder:

Diagnosis, Accommodation and Mastery


Gifted Student with ADD: Between Two Worlds


ADHD: It Rarely Travels Alone


Beyond Ritalin: A Humorous Look at Medications for AD/HD


Medications for Children and Adults


Medication for Children and Adolescents

New Medications for Adults with AD/HD 


Tips for People with AD/HD 

ADHD and Medication:

the Basics  

When a Grandchild Has ADHD

Helping Your

Child Succeed in School

Coping Styles in ADD



Women and Attention Deficit Disorder


Hints for Raising and Educating an ADHD Child


Your ADD To College

Marriage, Family and

the Adult with ADHD

When Your Mom Has ADD!


Diagnosis and Personal Responsibility: How Does Morality Fit in with ADD?



Attention Deficit

Disorder in Adults (Adult ADD)


Deficit Disorder in Children and Adolescents

How Computers Can Help Individuals

with ADD

Book Reviews: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity



slides from our presentation on AD/HD in Adults

Links related to ADHD