Healthy Living

What are the Treatment Options for ADHD?

What are the Treatment Options for ADHD?

Key Takeaways

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may affect different aspects of life, including personality, work, and relationships.
  • Two major components are used in the treatment of this condition – behavior modification and medications. 
  • Psychostimulants are prescribed for both children and adults.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may affect different aspects of life, including personality, work, and relationships. Getting the right treatment is crucial in managing ADHD. Many studies have been conducted to investigate the efficacy of different treatment options for ADHD. Two major components are used in the treatment of this condition – behavior modification and medications. In some cases a combination of the two is found to be more successful in controlling the symptoms.

Different types of drugs in different forms like short-acting, intermediate-acting and long-acting medications are now available for the treatment of ADHD. The most effective type, its dosage and schedule differ from one person to another.

  • One of the most commonly prescribed medication is psychostimulants. These drugs help the person to concentrate better, and reduce hyperactivity, and is reported to be effective in 80% of the people. It is useful in ADHD with moderate to severe symptoms. Psychostimulants are prescribed for both children and adults. Sustained-release form of stimulants are now available which are effective throughout the day.
  • Non-stimulant drugs are recommended if stimulants are not effective or have unpleasant side effects in the patient. Non-stimulants are also prescribed for both children and adults. Non-stimulant drugs are effective in controlling impulsive action and in improving concentration of the patients.
  • If both stimulants and non-stimulants are associated with side effects or are not effective, other medications like tricyclic antidepressants are used.

Behavior therapy and counseling are found to be very effective in alleviating the symptoms of this condition in both children and adults.

Behavioral treatments are of different types including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral interventions – This method aims at teaching self-control through verbal instructions, cognitive modeling, self-evaluation and other techniques.
  • Clinical behavior therapy – This method focuses on training teachers, parents and caregivers on behavioral treatment.
  • Intensive behavioral management – This is an intensive program for behavioral management which helps in self-control and socialization.
  • Contingency management – This is yet another intensive method of behavior management. This method focuses on encouraging specific behavior through the use of rewards and other responses.

A combination of medication and behavioral therapy is also used to control the symptoms of this condition and is more effective than using just one of the treatment methods. By adding medication the time spent on behavioral modification can be reduced to a certain extent and by using behavioral modification along with drugs, the dosage of drugs can be lowered.