Feb 20, 2008

What is the best treatment for ADHD?

If your child has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, you may be wondering what the best form of treatment is. As I've mentioned before, my ten year old son was diagnosed with ADHD in June 2003. Since that time he has been on medication. However, treating ADHD with medication is not an exact science. There is no magic way for your child's doctor to know which medication and what dose will work best. It is simply done by trial and error. In the past 4 1/2 years my son has been on three medications: Strattera, Adderall and Focalin XR. We were lucky to find the medication that worked best for him fairly quickly. He has been on Focalin for the past 3 years. He has no side effects and we are really pleased with it. I had no quams at all with placing him on medication after his diagnosis. His doctor and I discussed medication at length. I also did my own research and felt comfortable with taking that route. However, I am aware that some parents are not comfortable placing their child on medication right away, if at all. I've been asked what other forms of treatment are out there. Therefore, I did a little research and here is what I found out......

The following are non-drug treatments used for ADHD:

So, there you have it....other forms of treatment for ADHD. I also want to be fair and include accurate information about ADHD medications as well. ADDitude Magazine has a wonderful article entitled ADHD Medications 101: Stimulant Strategies - Five rules for using ADHD medications safely and effectively. They also have another informative article entitled Using ADHD Medications Safely that I encourage you to take a look at. They also have an article entitled Top 10 Questions about ADHD Drugs... Answered!. For a complete list of stimulants currenlty used to treat ADHD, visit ADHD-Made-Simple.com. And, for a list of non-stimulant medications, visit ncamp.com. No matter which side of the fence you're on, you should definitely read ADD Drugs or No Meds?. It's a must read article for any parent facing the medication/no medication question for treating their ADHD child.


  1. Thanks for the post. That was a lot of information about ADHD is such a small space! I am currently working through treatment options with my son's physician. My son was diagnosed with ADHD two months ago, the prescription medication he is currently on (adderal), is causing appitite loss, our doctor sees no problem in combining prescription medication with changes in diet and coping strategies.

  2. Many of the meds used to control ADHD are also used for appetite control. Also, many of the meds if not taken daily cause nausa for the 1st 5-10 days taken. This is why the practice of only giving meds during the week or on school days causes problems.

    It is possible to not use meds but that requires a lot of work. There are times even now I have considering taking meds because I'm tired of fighting to concentrate.

  3. Thanks for listing so many non-drug treatments for ADHD. DS, age 4, was recently diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Our pediatrician wants to give him Concerta. Isn't 4 too young? I am so against the ADHD drugs but the doctor keeps saying it's safe and that DS will struggle if I don't give him the drugs. I've been looking for natural ADHD supplements and I found one that looks good. It's called Attend. Has anyone used this? It's supposed to be as effective as the ADHD drugs, but without side effects.

    JCK in MI

  4. My son is 16 and I'm wondering is the medication Stratera is the right choice for him.He still have these anger spell that sometimes can't control. Which medication did youfind more effective?

  5. Hello Anonymous,

    Strattera worked well for my son for about one year. Then, all of the sudden, it just stopped. He has been taking Focalin (not Focalin XR) for almost three years now and it works great for him! No side effects or anything. Too bad there isn't a medication test the doctors could give our children to quickly identify which medication would be best for them. Best of luck.

  6. Good discussion about ADHD. Thanks a lot for this great informative post. keep posting such a nice post.

    Smith ALan


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