The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications as recommended by your doctor, and according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
can help control hyperactive and impulsive behavior and increase attention span.
The Food and Drug Administration has directed all manufacturers of ADHD drugs to notify patients about potential cardiovascular and psychiatric side effects. Patients or their parents should read the information before taking the medication and should speak with their doctors about the warnings.
There have been reports of sudden death in patients with underlying serious heart problems and reports of
in adults with certain risk factors. There is also a slight increased risk (about 1 per 1,000) for psychiatric side effects, such as hallucinations, paranoia, and mania, even in patients without previous psychiatric problems.
The drugs that are the focus of the revised labeling are:
Pemoline can cause rare but severe liver problems. Only 15 cases have been reported in the past 23 years, but 12 of these patients died or required liver transplantation. For this reason, pemoline is no longer recommended.
(Vyvanse)—This medication was recently approved to treat adults with ADHD. It can also be used to treat children aged 6-12 years.
Stimulants are the most common treatment for ADHD. These drugs increase activity in parts of the brain that appear to be underactive in children with ADHD. When used properly to treat ADHD, they produce a calming effect that promotes concentration, rather than a stimulating effect. However, they also have the potential to become addictive. Your child’s doctor will prescribe the lowest effective dose, monitor the response closely, and stop treatment occasionally to determine the need for on-going treatment.
All of these drugs prevent the inactivation of natural chemical stimulants in the body, either norepinephrine (noradrenalin) or serotonin. Most of these drugs act on both chemicals, but some act mainly or exclusively on only one. All are used to treat depression.
is not a stimulant but prevents the inactivation of norepinephrine.
There have been a small number of reports of severe liver injury associated with atomoxetine, which reversed after stopping the drug. Atomoxetine should be discontinued in patients who exhibit
or laboratory evidence of liver injury.
acts in the brain to stimulate certain areas, but not others, in a fashion similar to the stimulants. It is also used to treat
. Morning dosing increases the sedative effect; bedtime dosing minimizes it. It is also available in a patch that provides a steady dose for a week at a time.
Clonidine is relatively safe except in patients with certain forms of heart and circulatory disease.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a