ADHD Medications – Pharmacology

by GuestPoster on November 13, 2011

The primary treatment that medical professionals recommend for ADHD still remains to be pharmacologic in nature. Medications are undeniably quite effective since these drugs are specifically formulated through study and trials. Prescribed ADHD medications are the top choices as ADHD remedies for many parents despite the many possible harmful effects that these drugs may bring about.

Methylphenidate drugs such as Concerta, Ritalin LA or Metadate CD are considered to be the most effective in alleviating ADHD symptoms. They are believed to affect chemical within the neurologic system. The mechanism of action of this drug classification concentrates on regulating the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. Many experts believe that imbalances with these neurotransmitters lead to the problems with mood, attention, hyperactivity and cognition which are typical with a child suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Similar drugs called amphetamines are also prescribed in cases of ADHD. They also act to regulate neurotransmitter levels within the brain. Perhaps the biggest downside of these drugs, aside from the potential for side effects, is that the components within the medications can cause dependencies and addiction when taken as a long term treatment. Because of this, newer drug types called non stimulants are now being prescribed by more and more physicians. Strattera and Intuniv are the two FDA approved non stimulants being used today by various sufferers of ADHD. These drugs do not pose the same threat of dependency that stimulants do they still do possess the risk for a few mild side effects.

There are sufferers who are unresponsive to both stimulants and non stimulants. In these cases, physicians may prescribe the use of Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) as ADHD medications. This is considered an off label use for the drug class since it does not address depression but rather the symptoms of ADHD. Most depressive symptoms may arise from neurotransmitter imbalances similar to those found in ADHD and this is where the efficacy of TCAs comes in. Though not as powerful as stimulants, many cases report a marked reduction in ADHD symptoms.

Whatever may be prescribed for the person with ADHD, following the prescribed medication regimen is always important. Following specific dosages should be a top priority as many of these drugs have a potential to create a whole lot of problems when abused or taken incorrectly.

Prescription abuse with the stimulant ADHD medications has become an increasing problem, especially among high school and college-aged students who use the stimulants as a study aid.

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