How is ADHD Treated?
There isn't a simple solution for ADHD, and treatment can sometimes be complicated – but it helps and it's worth it. The best form of treatment for your child involves a combination of several important elements.
These various methods work together to provide a unified approach for children diagnosed with ADHD:
1. Behavior Management. Helping your child learn appropriate behavior both at home and at school is a key aspect of treating ADHD. While there is a wealth of helpful information available on parenting a child with ADHD, it's important that you consult your child's physician and school counselor for additional direction on how to best handle behavioral issues with your child.1
2. Education about diagnosis and treatment. The more you know about your child's condition, the more you can help. Visit our Resources Page for additional information to help ease any anxiety you may have. Forums, wikis and e-books are all freely accessible with an Internet connection, and many local communities can also offer support.
3. Educational programs and support. There are many educational programs and support groups available to help you and your child adjust to living with ADHD. He or she may qualify for Section 504 or IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) services. Support groups can introduce you and your child to other parents and children who are dealing with ADHD, and provide you with an outlet when times get stressful.
4. Medication. The most common type of medication used for treating ADHD is called a stimulant. Although it may seem unusual to treat ADHD with a medication considered a stimulant, it actually has a calming effect on children with ADHD. Many types of stimulant medications are available.2 A few other ADHD medications are non-stimulants and work differently than stimulants.2 For many children, ADHD medications reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity, and improve their ability to focus, work and learn.2 Medication may also improve physical coordination.2
1 "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)." NIMH RSS. N.p., n.d. Web.
2 "Stimulant Drugs to Treat ADHD: Types, Side Effects, and More." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web.
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDERS, NARCOLEPSY
Methylphenidate Hydrochloride Chewable Tablets are indicated as an integral part of a total treatment program which typically includes other remedial measures (psychological, educational, social) for a stabilizing effect in children with a behavioral syndrome characterized by the following group of developmentally inappropriate symptoms: moderate-to-severe distractibility, short attention span, hyperactivity, emotional lability, and impulsivity.
Important Safety Information
- Children less than 6 years of age - Methylphenidate Hydrochloride Chewable Tablets should not be used in children under six years, since safety and efficacy in this age group have not been established.
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors - Methylphenidate Hydrochloride Chewable Tablets are contraindicated during treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and also within a minimum of 14 days following discontinuation of a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (hypertensive crises may result).
- Anxiety, Tension, and Agitation - Marked anxiety, tension, and agitation are contraindications to Methylphenidate Hydrochloride Chewable Tablets, since the drug may aggravate these symptoms.
- Hypersensitivity - Methylphenidate Hydrochloride Chewable Tablets are also contraindicated in patients known to be hypersensitive to the drug, in patients with glaucoma, and in patients with motor tics or with a family history or diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome.
- Sudden Death and Pre-Existing Structural Cardiac Abnormalities or Other Serious Heart Problems
Stimulant products generally should not be used in children, adolescents, or adults with known serious structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart rhythm abnormalities, or other serious cardiac problems. Stroke, and myocardial infarction have been reported in adults taking stimulant drugs.
- Hypertension and other Cardiovascular Conditions
Stimulant medications can cause modest changes in blood pressure and heart rate. Use caution when treating patients whose underlying medical conditions might be compromised by increases in blood pressure or heart rate (e.g., those with pre-existing hypertension, heart failure, recent myocardial infarction, or ventricular arrhythmia).
- Peripheral Vasculopathy, Including Raynaud's Phenomenon - Stimulants, including Methylphenidate Hydrochloride Chewable Tablets, are associated with peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud's phenomenon. Signs and symptoms are usually intermittent and mild; however, very rare sequelae include digital ulceration and/or soft tissue breakdown.
- Pre-Existing Psychosis - Administration of stimulants may exacerbate symptoms of behavior disturbance and thought disorder in patients with a pre-existing psychotic disorder.
- Bipolar Illness - Particular care should be taken in using stimulants to treat ADHD in patients with comorbid bipolar disorder because of concern for possible induction of a mixed/manic episode in such patients.
- Emergence of New Psychotic or Manic Symptoms - Treatment emergent psychotic or manic symptoms, e.g., hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania in children and adolescents without a prior history of psychotic illness or mania can be caused by stimulants at usual doses.
- Aggression - Aggressive behavior or hostility is often observed in children and adolescents with ADHD. Patients beginning treatment for ADHD should be monitored for the appearance of or worsening of aggressive behavior or hostility.
- Seizures - There is some clinical evidence that stimulants may lower the convulsive threshold in patients with prior history of seizures, in patients with prior EEG abnormalities in absence of seizures, and, very rarely, in patients without a history of seizures and no prior EEG evidence of seizures. In the presence of seizures, the drug should be discontinued.
- Priapism - Prolonged and painful erections, sometimes requiring surgical intervention, have been reported with methylphenidate products in both pediatric and adult patients.
- Long-Term Suppression of Growth - Growth should be monitored during treatment with stimulants, and patients who are not growing or gaining height or weight as expected may need to have their treatment interrupted.
- Difficulties with accommodation and blurring of vision have been reported with stimulant treatment.
- Nervousness and insomnia are the most common adverse reactions but are usually controlled by reducing dosage and omitting the drug in the afternoon or evening.
- Other reactions include hypersensitivity (including skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, and thrombocytopenic purpura); anorexia; nausea; dizziness; palpitations; headache; dyskinesia; drowsiness; blood pressure and pulse changes, tachycardia; angina; cardiac arrhythmia; abdominal pain; weight loss during prolonged therapy; libido changes; and rhabdomyolysis.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS