How ADHD Medications Affect the Way a Child Acts
Today, there are several different kinds of ADHD medications on the market, each of them having their own set of positive and negative
effects. Stimulants are the most commonly prescribed medications for children with ADHD because they quickly and drastically improve the symptoms of ADHD in the majority of patients. In some cases, non-stimulant drugs are prescribed to children, and they also improve the symptoms of ADHD, but the improvements are not as fast and drastic. How ADHD medications make children act has a big impact on what type of medication they will be prescribed. Some children have negative side effects from stimulant medications, so non-stimulant medications often work better for them. Too much of either type of medication can have very negative effects, so proper dosage is also important.
How Stimulant ADHD Medications Make Children Act
As previously stated, stimulant medications, such as Ritalin and Concerta, are the most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of ADHD in children. This is because they work for such a large percentage of children. Almost immediately after taking a stimulant medication, the child will be more alert and more able to focus. Their behavior also dramatically improves shortly after taking the medication. They are able to get more accomplished and they are also much more calm and organized. The medication also allows them to build relationships with their peers because they are more able to get along with others.
Although stimulant medications work well for some children, there are also some negative effects of them. While not all children will experience negative effects, there are still some worth mentioning. The more common, negative effects of stimulant medications are a decrease in appetite, headaches, nausea, insomnia, and irritabilty. In some cases, the dosage is too high for the child, which can cause him or her to be aggressive and moody.
How Non-Stimulant ADHD Medications Make Children Act
Non-stimulant medications, such as Straterra and Intuniv, are the next most commonly prescribed medications for children with ADHD. These types of medications are not fast acting, which means that it may take a while to see their effects. Since they act more slowly, they also do not wear off abruptly like stimulant medications do. Both Strattera and Intuniv have shown to increase attention span and reduce hyperactivity in children with ADHD. They are both also known for controlling impulsivity in children with the disorder. Unlike stimulants, these medications do not typically cause insomnia or agitation.
The most common negative effects of Straterra include nausea, dizziness, fatique, and mood swings. In rare cases, this drug can cause children to have thoughts of suicide, so it is important to watch out for that. Children who take Intuniv generally do not have thoughts of suicide, but it may cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and irritability.
Finding the Right ADHD Medication
Finding the right ADHD medication for children often involves a lot of trial and error. Some children will have effects from some medications, while other children will not. If you’re wondering how does ADHD medication make kids act, it varies from one child to another; so paying attention to the behaviors exhibited while on medication is extremely important.
Related Bright Hub Links
WebMD: Stimulants for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
WebMD: Nonstimulant Therapy and Other ADHD Drugs
Mayo Clinic: Attention Deficit Disorder Treatments and Drugs
Image Credit: Flickr, Arenamontaus