ADHD Home > Adult ADHD Medication
When creating an ADHD treatment plan for adults, medicine is generally only used as an addition to behavior modification. Patients may also benefit from counseling and vocational guidance by specialists who help individuals develop coping skills and methods for organization and time management. Common forms of ADHD medication may include stimulants or antidepressants.
A number of FDA-approved medications are available to help treat the symptoms of adult ADHD. Some people have better results from one drug; some from another.
Adult ADHD medication options may include:
Besides medication, ADHD treatment needs to involve a behavior modification program. The drugs used for adult ADHD are only an adjunct to behavior modification. Adults with ADHD may benefit from counseling, vocational guidance, and professional coaching done by specialists who help individuals develop coping skills and methods for organization and time management.
People with ADHD may be hyperactive, but, surprisingly, they are often prescribed a stimulant to help treat the symptoms of ADHD. When used for adult ADHD, stimulants can improve alertness and attention without making the hyperactivity worse.
FDA-approved stimulants for children ages 6 and older include products containing various forms of methylphenidate, amphetamine, and methamphetamine.
Four stimulants are currently approved to treat adult ADHD. These include:
- Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine extended release (Adderall XR®)
- Methylphenidate extended release (Concerta®)
- Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse™)
Stimulants, including those used to treat adult ADHD, should not be taken by people with certain conditions, including:
- Moderate-to-severe high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Other heart-related conditions (including heart disease and congestive heart failure)
- History of drug abuse.
Some common side effects of stimulants as used as ADHD medication include:
Because stimulant medicines have a high potential for abuse, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has placed stringent controls on them. For example, the DEA requires special licenses to manufacture, distribute, and prescribe these controlled substances, and prescription refills aren't allowed.