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ADHD in Teens (cont.)

ADHD in Teens Medications

In terms of medications, medications in the stimulant class are known to be quite effective for treating ADHD. Examples of stimulant medications used to treat this condition include short-acting medications like methylphenidate (Ritalin) and dexmethylphenidate (Focalin), intermediate-acting medications like dextroamphetamine/amphetamine (Adderall and Adderall-XR), and long-acting stimulants like methylphenidate-slow release (Concerta, Daytrana), dexmethylphenidate (Focalin-XR), and lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse). However, for some individuals, the side effects of the medication prevent these medications from being appropriate. Therefore, specific nonstimulant medications, which are also approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for effective treatment of ADHD, are prescribed for those individuals. Examples of nonstimulant medications include atomoxetine (Strattera), guanfacine (Tenex or Intuniv), and clonidine (Kapvay). Examples of medications that are often used to treat depression, like bupropion (Wellbutrin) and venlafaxine (Effexor) are also be helpful in the treatment of ADHD for some individuals.

As anything that is ingested carries a risk of side effects, it is important for the ADHD sufferer and his or her family to work closely with the prescribing doctor to decide whether treatment with medications is an appropriate intervention and if so, which medication should be administered. The kinds of side effects caused by a medication are highly specific to which medication it is and to the group of medications it is in. The person being treated should therefore discuss potential medications with their treating physician and be closely monitored for the possibility of side effects that can vary from minor to severe, and can rarely even be life-threatening.

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