ADHD Medication & Treatment: All you need to Know

Table of Content

What is ADHD medication?

If you or a loved one are facing symptoms of ADHD, it is important to understand the symptoms. This is a crucial factor for a comprehensive diagnosis and in how your doctor prescribes the medications. With the right type and dosage of medication, you can learn to effectively manage the symptoms of ADHD. 

What does ADHD medication do?

Although ADHD medications work in different ways, they have one common goal which is, increasing neurotransmitter levels in the brain. These neurotransmitters include dopamine and norepinephrine which help improve attention span, reduce hyperactivity, control impulsive behavior, and manage executive functioning. 

All medicines, including those used to treat the symptoms, are only safe if they’re used correctly. Proper medical supervision is still important as some children tend to develop different symptoms and side effects than others. Apart from medicine, it's advisable to combine the treatment with training, behavioral therapy, or counseling.

What are the different types of ADHD medications?


According to experts, stimulants are one of the most common types of medications prescribed for ADHD. By increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, stimulants work toward improving motivation, attention, and thinking. The two forms of stimulants include the immediate-release (short-acting) stimulant and the extended-release (intermediate or long-acting) stimulant. The former is taken only when needed and lasts up to 4 hours. As the medication wears off, it can lead to a sharp decrease in energy. The latter is taken regularly and lasts for up to 6-16 hours. 

Non Stimulants 

Unlike stimulants, non-stimulants arent controlled medications, that is, they cannot be abused. These medications increase the level of norepinephrine in the brain improving symptoms like attention, focus, and impulsivity. They are also known to take longer to start working but can last for almost 24 hours. Doctors tend to prescribe non-stimulants when stimulants are not as effective, to prevent major side effects of stimulants, or as a pairing with stimulants to achieve long-term improvement. 


Prescribed alone or in combination with other stimulants, antidepressants can work towards increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain. There are no clear results on how it helps improve symptoms of ADHD. However, a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors tends to be prescribed in combination with other medications to improve conditions that accompany ADHD. 

What are some common ADHD medication names?

Under the main types of medications that include stimulants, non-stimulants, and antidepressants, the common ones prescribed by doctors include-

  • Stimulants are classified into Amphetamine and Methylphenidate (eg: Concerta, Metadate, Ritalin). 
  • Non Stimulants include Atomoxetine and Clonidine.
  • Antidepressants are prescribed too, like Wellbutrin, Aventyl, and Norpramin.

Do I need to take medications to control ADHD, or can I control it without them?

Managing and coping with ADHD varies from person to person. Hence the type of treatment that you may need depends on the severity of the symptoms, your circumstances, and your needs. Typically, treatment for this condition involves psychological interventions and medications. The latter may or may not be necessary, depending on the manifestation of ADHD. 

Now it may be possible to control symptoms of ADHD without medications. This is mainly done through different forms of therapy like family therapy, behavioral therapy, play therapy, lifestyle practices, and neurofeedback.  

Although therapy seems to be effective on its own, medications may be required for severe cases. With the right type and dosage of medication, you can learn to manage symptoms of ADHD and other co-existing mental health conditions. 

How long will my child or I have to take ADHD medication?

There is no cure for ADHD. Medications only help control symptoms. However, a combination of medicine and therapy is a great way to help you or your child lead a productive life. 

Regular monitoring and interaction with the doctor can help find the right dose and best medicine during treatment. If you feel that a particular medication is not working, visit another doctor or a behavioral therapist for a second opinion. However, don’t ever risk ADHD self-medication, as it can be highly risky and dangerous.

When should I see my healthcare provider?

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, seeking mental health care is highly recommended. 

  • Lack Focus
  • Forget or lose things a lot
  • Squirm or fidget
  • Talk too much
  • Make careless mistakes 
  • Take unnecessary risks
  • Have a hard time resisting temptation
  • Have trouble waiting for your turn
  • Have difficulty socializing
  • Trouble getting organized

We understand that seeking help may not be easy. However, with early diagnosis and intervention, you can achieve long-term improvements to your overall well-being. 

How can Cadabams Help?

At Cadabams Hospital, our dedicated team comprises psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors who specialize in handling ADHD symptoms. Feel free to contact us to gather information about ADHD, its effects, and various strategies to support your child in managing this condition effectively.


Do doctors prescribe the same ADHD medications for children and adults?

Doctors can prescribe the same ADHD medication for children and adults in different dosages. Furthermore, the side effects experienced by both children and adults can also vary. 

Are there any over-the-counter ADHD medications?

There are no over-the-counter medications for ADHD. Doctors and other healthcare providers are the only ones who can prescribe medications to control the symptoms of this condition. 

Are stimulant ADHD medications habit-forming?

Stimulant medications need to be controlled as there is potential for misuse. However, this is the case with any medication, and there is no clear indication that stimulant medications are habit-forming.

Can a person with ADHD live a normal life?

With the right treatment and care, living a normal and successful life is entirely possible. It is important to keep in mind that being consistent with treatment is the only solution.

What are 2 common treatments for ADHD?

The two common treatments for ADHD include a combination of psychotherapy and medication. The latter may be needed to manage severe symptoms or coexisting conditions like depression and anxiety. 

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