Medication is not a magic bullet for children with ADHD, but it does assist many of them. We discovered that 84% of the families had used medicine at some stage. Almost 50% of the kids surveyed in our study reported trying two or more drugs in the previous three years.
Compared to children who had never tried medication. who were prescribed medication tended to be older and had more severe symptoms prior to receiving therapy. The children who had tried medicine on average were 13 years old. While the children who had never tried medication on average were 10 years old.
An examination of ADHD medications in further detail
In general, the medications used to treat ADHD are both safe and effective. The majority of kids and teens who take them experience a decrease in hyperactivity and impulsivity, an improvement in focus, and a decrease in disruptive behavior at home and school. There is little solid evidence that these advantages continue longer than two years. Studies have not thoroughly examined the long-term effects of using stimulants for extended periods of time.
Thankfully, a lot of ADHD kids get better as they get old and enter their early 20s, even if they are not treated. However, between 30 and 70 percent of cases might continue throughout adolescence and adulthood with the disease.
Children should initially have a cardiac examination to rule out any underlying heart issues, as all ADHD stimulant medications have been connects to extremely rare instances of heart attack, stroke, and sudden death.
There is a significant range in the severity of symptoms and aberrant behavior patterns among children and teenagers diagnosed with ADHD. A doctor’s diagnosis might also be highly subjective and differ from one to the next. Many children and teenagers on medication may not actually have ADHD or may just have minor symptoms that may not require medication because diagnosing the condition can be challenging and a number of medical and psychiatric conditions can create symptoms that mimic ADHD. If you have any questions, make sure to seek a second opinion and a diagnosis from a medical professional or mental health specialist who specializes in ADHD. Your child may not require medication even if they fit the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. A pediatrician can recommend a mental health professional, who will first rule out other potential causes of the behavior.
The best method for treating ADHD is to combine several approaches. There is some evidence that for certain children, behavioral treatment plus medicine can be more effective than medication alone. However, not all children respond well to behavior treatment alone, particularly those with severe symptoms.
Medications worked well.
Within a few days of starting amphetamines , parents who tried medication reported good changes in our poll. Although second-line drugs like strattera took longer to start working, most parents saw improvements in a few weeks. Roughly 10% of parents whose kids experimented with amphetamines and methylphenidates reported no beneficial effects.
The parents we spoke with said that kids on medicine fared marginally better than kids without it. Additionally, parents expresses dissatisfaction with medication overall, even though it was indicated as the most effective technique for managing ADHD (see ADHD therapies that work). Just 52% of the parents firmly agreed that they would give their children medication if they had to do it over again. And 44% said they wished there was a different method to support their child. (See below for parent satisfaction regarding medicine.)
Certain places benefited more from medication than others. According to parents surveyed, medication was found to be as, if not more, beneficial with behavior at school. A good portion of respondents reported that it was extremely helpful with conduct at home (26 percent) . A reasonable portion reported that it was helpful with social interactions (19 percent) and self-esteem (18 percent).
Furthermore, the parents’ evaluation of the usefulness of medication as a particular method was probably influences by its impact on academic performance, behavior at school, and behavior at home. While behavioral methods can aid in long-term ADHD management, medication appears to decrease certain symptoms of the disorder.
Children who began with severe symptoms and were taking stimulants. (Children with milder initial symptoms also showed improvement, albeit not as much.) In every region, methylphenidates and amphetamines were equally linkes to changes in symptoms.
ADHD drug side effects
According to our poll, side effects were mentioned by parents of children taking methylphenidate and amphetamines . Overall, side effects were reported by 84% of children who tried amphetamines and 81% of those who receives methylphenidates. Furthermore, 35% of individuals who indicated they were no longer taking a particular prescription did so due to negative effects.
Parents most commonly reported decreased appetite, upset stomach, weight loss, and a decrease in appetite for both forms of medication. All of these side effects were equally likely to be caused by amphetamines and methylphenidates, which parents of children who tries amphetamines were more likely to report as a side effect. While mood elevation and increased energy were not among the most generally reported negative effects. Parents of children taking amphetamines were more likely to report these than those of children using methylphenidates. If you start to experience problems with impatience, rage, or manic behavior, consult your doctor.
Children who take medication may experience other issues that are not even related to the medication. For example, sleep issues may have existed prior to beginning medication. Additionally, timing of pharmaceutical administration plays a role in determining side effects. According to Goldstein, “some kids don’t want to take medication.” “It must be determines if they are doing well on the meidtation but just don’t want to bother taking it despite the positive effects, or whether they are really having increases anxiety or mood changes from the medication.“