Nonstimulant ADHD Medications
There are three nonstimulant medications approved for treating ADHD:
Strattera is approved for children ages six and older, teenagers, and adults. Intuniv and Kapvay are approved to treat ADHD only in children and adolescents 6 through 17 years of age.
Many parents and healthcare providers prefer nonstimulant ADHD medications for various reasons. For instance, nonstimulants are much less likely to be abused, compared to the stimulants.
Some people get better results from one ADHD medicine, some from another. It is important to work with your healthcare provider to find the right medication and the correct dosage.
For many people, stimulants dramatically reduce their hyperactivity and impulsivity, and improve their ability to focus, work, and learn. Drugs for ADHD may also improve physical coordination, such as that needed in handwriting and in sports.
Stimulants come in short-acting and long-acting forms. The newer sustained-release stimulants can be taken before school and are long-lasting, so your child does not need to take medication at school. Discuss your child's needs with your healthcare provider to determine which form to use and whether your child needs to take the medicine during school hours only or during the evening and weekends, too.
If, after taking a medication for a week, there is no improvement in symptoms, your healthcare provider may adjust the dosage. If there is still no improvement, your child may be switched to another ADHD medication. About 1 out of 10 children is not helped by a stimulant medication. Other types of medications may be used in this case, or if ADHD occurs with another disorder. Antidepressants and other medications can help control accompanying depression or anxiety.