ADHD The Success Rate of Treatment

What can one typically expect with treatment of ADHD? How is ADHD treated? Generally speaking from a clinical point of view is that people get started on a stimulant; and they notice immediate results. Within one hour or two they can tell a difference in their ability to stay more focused and feel less impulsive.

With follow-up sessions, their symptoms are monitored and if need be a medication increase or decrease is made. I find that if the dose of the stimulant is too high, the symptoms revert back to the pre-medication state. Side effects that people have from this most medications used to treat ADHD, it is usually a little bit of insomnia and a mild increase in anxiety that generally resolves within the first few weeks of treatment.  Relatively speaking these side effects are minimal. The other side effects that tend to be more chronic in nature include decreased appetite and an upset stomach. Most people tolerate the stimulants very well. People with unstable heart conditions should not take stimulants due to the risk albeit rare of sudden death, which is almost always associated with heart patients. Those with a familial history of facial tics should not take stimulants either since there is an increased risk of facial tics with this medication. Also, people with moderate to severe untreated hypertension should not take stimulants due to the risk of it also increasing blood pressure. We generally try to avoid giving stimulants to people who have had a history of drug abuse because the stimulants are potentially addictive. Patients without a history of addiction, don't tend to get addicted to these medications. They just need them to treat the illness. As with any medication for any illness; we always weigh the side effects with the quality of life issues and in the case of ADHD the side effects are relatively minor in comparison to other medications used to treat mental illness.

If a patient is started on a non-stimulant medication, such as Strattera or an antidepressant medication, it will take longer for them to see results. It will take more along the lines of about one month to see the full effect from the medication. Sometimes during the initiation of the medication, a medication increase or decrease may be warranted. Some people have an upset stomach with this medication, heart palpitations or an increased blood pressure.

A new medication for ADHD treatment that has already achieved FDA approval for the treatment of ADHD in children and already has FDA approval for treatment of hypertension in adults which shows great promise in also treating ADHD in adults. This medication is called Intuniv and takes about two weeks to show its full effect. Some people get a little sedated from this one. This side effect generally resolves within the first few weeks of treatment. Otherwise, this medication is fairly well tolerated. ADHD is very treatable and I love treating it; especially since the positive effects of the treatment are patently evident is such a sort period of time. If you think that you may have ADD/ADHD and would like to schedule an initial evaluation, please contact me through this website or call my office to schedule an appointment.

This article is for informational purposes only and not to be used in diagnosing or treating any illness