Stimulant Versus Non-stimulant Treatment Options for ADHD
Stimulant medications are the first-choice treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. This group of medications is the most effective for reducing ADHD symptoms and greatly improving quality of life. Non-stimulant medications have also been approved for the treatment of ADHD. They may be used alone or together with stimulants. While non-stimulants do not work as well for treating ADHD, they may be used first when someone cannot take stimulants because of their side effects.1 Overall, the effect of the medication can vary, and each person’s response can be different.
Wolraich ML, Hagan JF Jr, Allan C, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents [published correction appears in Pediatrics. 2020 Mar;145(3):]. Pediatrics. 2019;144(4):e20192528. doi:10.1542/peds.2019-2528
Steingard R, Taskiran S, Connor DF, Markowitz JS, Stein MA. New Formulations of Stimulants: An Update for Clinicians [published correction appears in J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2020 Apr;30(3):202]. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2019;29(5):324-339. doi:10.1089/cap.2019.0043
Gregory W Mattingly, Joshua Wilson & Anthony L Rostain (2017) A clinician’s guide to ADHD treatment options, Postgraduate Medicine, 129:7, 657-666, DOI: 10.1080/00325481.2017.1354648
NIDA. Where can I get further information about prescription drug misuse?. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/where-can-i-get-further-information-about-prescription-drug-misuse. September 1, 2022 Accessed September 25, 2022.
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