Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
People with ADHD have many chemicals in their brain that are not present
in the proper amounts in the proper places at the proper times.
ADHD medications are designed to increase the ability of the ADHD sufferer
to pay attention and manage their impulses and activity level.
Most ADHD medications tend to increase the amount of the neurotransmitters
dopamine (DA) and/or norepinephrine.
Marijuana's addiction potential, side effects, and the lack of research of
its benefits for ADHD keep the use of this drug from being a viable treatment.
The types of ADHD medicines include stimulants and nonstimulants, the
latter including medications that usually treat depression.
ADHD medications now come in pill, patch, or liquid forms.
Precautions that are often taken when ADHD drugs are prescribed usually
involve the prescribing doctor using a variety of ways to make sure the person
As with many medications, ADHD medications can be associated with certain
interactions with other medications, some of which may be dangerous.
What are ADHD medications?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (often referred to as ADD or ADHD)
is a disorder that is characterized by hyperactivity or restlessness, trouble
concentrating, and/or trouble controlling one's impulses. It is one of the most
common conditions of childhood and adolescence. Most experts agree that this
condition affects 8%-10% of school-age children and that more than 40% of
children with ADHD grow up into adults with this disorder.
Rather than having any single cause, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD) develops from both genetic and life experience risk factors. Individuals
with ADHD tend to have problems developing efficient self-regulation skills and
decision-making abilities. Biologically, ADHD is a neurochemical and
neuroanatomical disorder. People with ADHD have several chemicals in the brain
that are not present in the right quantities in the right places at the right
times. These chemicals may work sometimes but not consistently, and they are not
under the individual's control. This is why people with ADHD have variable
performance. Also, some nerve groups seem to be a bit out of position in the
brain, causing delays or accelerations of nerve signals.
ADHD medications are
designed to increase the ability of the ADHD sufferer to pay attention and
manage their impulses and activity level. They also sometimes are used to treat
people who suffer from sleep attacks (narcolepsy),
chronic fatigue, or to boost
the effect of antidepressant medication.
Most ADHD medications increase the amount of two brain chemicals that are
used by nerve cells to communicate with one another (neurotransmitters), namely
dopamine (DA) and/or norepinephrine. These
chemicals have been associated with attention, pleasure, and movement. Although
the chemical properties of other ADHD medications like guanfacine (Tenex, Intuniv) and
(Catapres, Kapvay) are known, it is not fully
understood how they affect the symptoms of ADHD.