Alternatives to Ritalin SR
Several alternatives to Ritalin SR are available, including other stimulant medications and non-stimulant drugs. Behavioral changes are also important, and well-balanced therapy programs (including social, educational, and mental therapy) should be incorporated into an ADHD treatment program. Let your healthcare provider know if you or your child is not benefiting from the drug or if side effects develop so that he or she can recommend alternatives to Ritalin SR.
Ritalin SR® (methylphenidate extended-release) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. The drug is part of a group of ADHD medications called stimulants. For most children, Ritalin SR is effective in treating symptoms of ADHD, and most children tolerate it quite well. However, as with all medicines, side effects can occur, or the medicine may not adequately control ADHD. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to Ritalin SR for ADHD treatment.
Some of these alternatives include:
- Lifestyle changes, including therapy
- Other stimulant ADHD medications
- Non-stimulant ADHD medications.
(Click Narcolepsy Treatment for information about alternatives to Ritalin SR for narcolepsy.)
Whether or not ADHD medications are used, several steps can be taken to help children with ADHD. Helping the child develop a routine is often useful. Developing systems to keep the child organized (such as notebooks or binders for homework) can also be helpful. Be sure to talk to your child's school about a 504 plan. A 504 plan (named after the law that requires public schools to accommodate children with disabilities) outlines the steps the school will take to help your child do his or her best at school. The plan also addresses how your child will receive medication at school.
Any behavioral change involves a well-balanced ADHD treatment plan, including social, educational, and mental therapy. Several different types of therapy are available for ADHD, including:
- Behavior therapy
- Social skills training
- Support groups
- Parenting skill training
- Behavioral interventions.
Sometimes, only the child with ADHD needs counseling support. In many cases, however (because the problem affects the family as a whole), the entire family may need help. If lifestyle changes alone are not effective in improving ADHD symptoms, medications (such as Ritalin SR) may be necessary.
(Click Behavior Therapy for ADHD for more information about the different types of ADHD therapy.)