Nonstimulant Therapy and Other ADHD Drugs
While stimulants are usually the first choice for ADHD, they're not for everyone. In some people, they cause intolerable side effects; in others, they just don't work very well. The good news is that other effective options for ADHD treatment are available.
Nonstimulant Therapy for ADHD
Two nonstimulant ADHD treatments have been approved by the FDA:
How Do Nonstimulants for ADHD Work?
Strattera seems to increase the amount of norepinephrine, an important brain chemical. This appears to help ADHD by increasing attention span and reducing impulsive behavior and hyperactivity.
Intuniv and Kapvay have an effect on certain receptors in the brain. Studies show that they reduce distractibility and improve attention, working memory, and impulse control. Intuniv is an extended release medicine that contains the same active ingredient as Tenex, a blood pressure drug that's been used as an off-label ADHD treatment for years. Kapvay contains the same active ingredients seen in some types of blood pressure medications known as clonidine. These medications work on the brain to help control heart rate and blood pressure.
Nonstimulants have some advantages over many stimulants used for ADHD. For instance, nonstimulants:
What Are the Side Effects of Nonstimulants?
Of course, nonstimulants do have some potential side effects of their own.
Strattera Side Effects. The most common side effects of Strattera are:
Other, less common risks from Strattera include: