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ADD; ADHD; Childhood hyperkinesis
Treating ADHD is a partnership between the health care provider, parents or caregivers, and the child. For therapy to succeed, it is important to:
If treatment does not appear to work, the health care provider should:
A combination of medication and behavioral treatment works best. There are several different types of ADHD medications that may be used alone or in combination.
Psychostimulants (also known as stimulants) are the most commonly used ADHD drugs. Although these drugs are called stimulants, they actually have a calming effect on people with ADHD.
These drugs include:
A nonstimulant drug called atomoxetine (Strattera) may work as well as stimulants, and may be less likely to be misused.
Some ADHD medicines have been linked to rare sudden death in children with heart problems. Talk to your doctor about which drug is best for your child.
Talk therapy for both the child and family can help everyone understand and gain control of the stressful feelings related to ADHD.
Parents should use a system of rewards and consequences to help guide their child's behavior. It is important to learn to handle disruptive behaviors. Support groups can help you connect with others who have similar problems.
Other tips to help your child with ADHD include:
Alternative treatments for ADHD have become popular, including herbs, supplements, and chiropractic treatments. However, there is little or no solid evidence that these work.
ADHD is a long-term, chronic condition. If it is not treated appropriately, ADHD may lead to:
About half of children with ADHD will continue to have troublesome symptoms of inattention or impulsivity as adults. However, adults are often more capable of controlling behavior and masking difficulties.
Pliszka S; AACAP Work Group on Quality Issues. Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2007 Jul;46(7):894-921.
Prince JB, Spencer TJ, Wilens TE, Biederman J. Pharmacotherapy of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder across the life span. In: Stern TA, Rosenbaum JF, Fava M, Biederman J, Rauch SL, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 49.
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