September 29, 2023

What are the ADHD treatment options?

As we all know ADHD is a disorder of the brain, but there is a lack of concrete information about it. There are several studies all over the world going on. Because of incomplete information about ADHD causes, there is no cure for it. Most of the medicine today used are mostly helped in reducing its symptoms. Many try to reduce its symptoms by behavioral therapy while others try to cut it by medication. And, some peoples go for natural ways for ADHD treatment. But do not anyone advise without consulting with your doctor. In this article, I am trying to explain some of the ADHD treatment options which by one way or other help you.

ADHD treatment Options:

ADHD Stimulant medication:

There are mainly two types of medication for ADHD treatment: Stimulants and non-stimulants.

Stimulants medications are the first line of ADHD treatment. A person who is suffering from the ADHD or anyone of relatives has many times heard about caffeine, Ritalin, and Adderall. They both are part of a class of the stimulants. And they often prescribed as a drug to treat ADHD. But according to our thinking when anyone can’t stand still, why we give them stimulants which increase their energy level. ADHD might not be the same in all the cases, but most of the symptoms fall under one main category: Brain disorder. But we haven’t nailed down what is happening in the people’s brain with ADHD.

One of the main ideas is the low arousal theory which says people with ADHD have the chronically under-aroused brain. It is stimulants which help to increase arousal, i.e., lower brain activity in the particular region. Aroused mind means neurons are not firing in some part of the brain.

How do stimulants work?

More dopamine translates into a greater feeling of reward. When your dopamine level is high, we feel good. One way of measuring it is called tonic dopamine level, which is how much dopamine is hanging between our neurons already. But there is also phasic dopamine which is what your neurons release based on a stimulus. Both kinds of dopamine level are essential for us because they affect each other. If we have more tonic dopamine, it can make the phasic response smaller. Neurons get a signal that there is already a lot of dopamine outside the cell, so they release a lesser dopamine level when they send a message to other neurons.

People with ADHD have lesser tonic dopamine which results in a greater phasic response. You might think a bigger reward is good because it would increase your motivation. But that not what happens. According to arousal theory, since low dopamine sits between the neurons, you need much more stimulation to get it flowing the way it would in someone without ADHD. That’s where stimulation medication come in. They get more of the dopamine between your neurons, so you are not always looking for stimulation in your environment.

Categories of stimulants medication:

Now there are two categories of stimulants for the ADHD treatment: methylphenidate and amphetamines. No matter what category they are in, these stimulants target dopamine.


The drug was first synthesized in 1944 and begin human trials in the 1950s. It was first patented in 1954. Ciba Geigy marketed the substance as Ritalin.

Methylphenidate is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. When a neuron sends out some dopamine, the drug prevents it from collecting back whatever doesn’t get picked up by the next neurons right away. It includes Ritalin, concrete, metadate, and Daytrana.

It is a generic methylphenidate which is used to treat children with ADHD and narcolepsy, a sleep disorder. As a stimulant, it increases motivation, enhances cognitive, increased alertness, euphoria and mood lift. Overall, it effects stays for 4 to 6 hours, and it works within 15 to 30 minutes. The drug binds dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters blocking the reuptake of these neurotransmitters. It leads to the extracellular concentration of dopamine.

Side effects of Methylphenidate:

As a stimulant, the potential for side effects is there. But most of the side effects occur because of continual use or overdose. The common side effects are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Jitteriness
  • Rebound effects, i.e., when we come off the medication, we experience irritability, depression, and nervousness.
  • Minor hallucination
  • Anxiety and greater cardiovascular response


It is widely prescribed in the USA under the brand name Dec Cedron. Amphetamines like other stimulant increase the functioning of the brain and stimulate the central nervous system.

It works a little differently. Instead of keeping neurons from collecting the dopamine they have already released, it stimulates them to release more of it. Some brand names of amphetamines in the USA are Dexedrine, Biphetamine, Dexampex, Ferndex, etc.

Amphetamines are used in the treatment of depression, obesity, ADHD and narcolepsy.

Side effects of Amphetamines:

  • Heightened alertness/energy
  • Nausea
  • A headache
  • Palpitation
  • Altered sexual behavior
  • Tremor/twitching of smaller muscles
  • High body temperature
  • Cardiovascular system failure
  • Increase or irregular heartbeat
  • Reduced appetite
  • Chronic sleep disorder
  • Cracked teeth or other dental problems
  • Muscles rigidity
  • Breathlessness etc.

Non-stimulant medication:

Sometimes it is tough for the patient to deal with side effects of the stimulant they no longer want to use it. For them, there is another option for a treatment called non-stimulant medications. The non-stimulant medicine used to treat ADHD are:

  • Strattera(atomoxetine)

The Strattera was originally made as an antidepressant. The clinical trials showed that it helped with ADHD, so we do not here in the states use it for depression. Its effects remain for 24 hours means if the child has a problem in school or at home, it works in both cases. But it takes

  • Bupropion(Wellbutrin)

It has shown to help with ADHD. If you have children with ADHD and depression, then it might be the medication you like to use. Although it is not a stimulant, it needs to taken in the morning because it can affect sleep. Its side effects include insomnia, dry mouth, agitation, ringing in the ear, sore throat, etc.

  • Venlafaxine(Effexor)

It is also an antidepressant that is used in ADHD. One of the major problem with it is a lot of withdrawal symptoms. So the withdrawal of a person from the Effexor is a lot more difficult process.

  • Adrenergic Agents like Clonidine and Tenex

These are merely known as blood pressure medications. These are commonly used in high blood pressure. They are now not used as medicine to control blood pressure but now used as controlling hyperactive part of ADHD. It drops blood pressure because it originally was made for lowering blood pressure.

Instead of using this synthetically produced chemical for curing ADHD, we need to look after natural ways which come with no side effects.

Behavioral therapy:

When the child is diagnosed with ADHD, the first course of treatment is to change some challenging or functionally impairing behavior of the child. In behavioral therapy, an expert first monitors the behavior of the child and then asked to change their behavior appropriately. It’s essential to have the intervention of parents and teachers to help modify some acts. For instance, the teacher might help the children to monitor their activity and provide a little incentive plan to help a child remember their actions and not to do that activity again. It has been absorbed that a lot of behavior with ADHD can be modified and shaped. And a child can learn to control it. Working with child physiologist or health care professional can help the parent to lean behavior treatment plan to improve their child’s ADHD symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on how your thought affects your emotion and behavior and give you tools to help manage them.

Other ADHD treatment options:

Support group:

The support group is a community of peoples who have similar interest or problems. Sometimes it is beneficial for a person with ADHD to seek out a support group. Be a face to face support group in the community or any society they can find on the internet that feels them makes comfortable. People with ADHD are not alone because it is a disease that affects a lot of peoples. It can be very therapeutic to join a community of other people who have a similar problem to yours. You can share your experience or concern with them and take their advice.


It is sometimes difficult with a person with ADHD to talk with an authority figure or person who is senior to him. Psychotherapy focused on developing skills so that they can better communicate with their seniors or authority figure. They need skills in managing and improving their symptoms of ADHD which they do not tend to learn on their own. Some of the skills that most children learn in psychotherapy:

  • How to manage their time
  • What is the way to improve organizational skills
  • How to interact with people appropriately.
  • And How to manage their mood and behavior

So we need to help them with their emotional regulation and impulse control. These are skills that psychotherapist focus on developing in children. By learning all these skills, a child with ADHD learns how to make a good choice in the future. These skills help them in improving concentration and to reduce their hyperactivity.

Parenting skill training:

  • Talk more about what your child is doing right than what they are doing right. This creates a bond between you and your children with ADHD which helps you to control your child hyperactivity.
  • When supporting a child with ADHD, it’s important to anticipate what will go wrong, limit distraction and keep your child inform and make sure they are aware of this schedule. When you give feedback, give them feedback immediately. If not they may not be learning.
  • When you are parenting a child with ADHD, think about what is motivating to him and then sprinkle it throughout the day.
  • Parenting a child with ADHD always give constructive feedback and try some point system for good behavior after it. After all, give them some prize for specific points.
  • One of the biggest issue with ADHD child is that they need some time. Try to spend maximum time with them and do an activity with him which relaxes their mood.
  • Use yoga, meditation and any other relaxation technique for a stress-free life. If you are panic with the child, it may worsen ADHD symptoms.

There is a lot of the medication in the market which by one way or other way reduces the symptoms of ADHD. But most of them come with side effects. Hence, it is advisable to consult with your doctor before using them. If possible then ask your doctor for herbal medication which may take times but have no side effects. Always ask your doctor whether they are using stimulant or non-stimulant medication. Is there any herbal alternative to it.