Can medication cure attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

It is best to think of this question in terms of treating the symptoms of ADHD and not actually curing ADHD.  In these terms, yes, medication can treat the symptoms of ADHD.

The research is absolutely clear: in both children and adults, medication can be highly effective in reducing ADD symptoms. I have witnessed startling transformations in ADD adults treated with medication. I’ve seen adults go from emotional to clear and focused, from scatterbrains to controlled forces to be reckoned with.

Many experts agree that ADD stimulant medications are universal performance enhancers – anyone should expect to receive benefits from taking them. Research has shown that on highly competitive college campuses, more than 10% of the student population admits that they use ADD medications without a prescription to enhance their academic performance.

Many of the stimulant medications to treat ADHD (Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall) are categorized by the Drug Enforcement Agency as Schedule II drugs. This means that they have the potential to be highly addictive and are at a high risk for being diverted - this means being sold to others for recreational use or performance enhancement.

Diana K. Blythe, MD
Medication cannot cure ADHD/ADD, but it can help the symptoms. Many medications for ADHD are stimulants which help in the ability to concentrate. Other medications help by treating the depression that often goes along with ADHD/ADD. As there are many facets to ADHD/ADD, talking to your doctor about what symptom is bothering you the most, can help your doctor decide on the proper treatment.
Iris Rodriguez-Johnson, MD
Medications that are used for ADHD can not cure it, but can treat its symptoms to help the patient to function normally.

Current medications do not cure ADHD. Rather, they control the symptoms for as long as they are taken. Medications can help a child pay attention and complete schoolwork. It is not clear, however, whether medications can help children learn or improve their academic skills. Adding behavioral therapy, counseling, and practical support can help children with ADHD and their families to better cope with everyday problems.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Mental Health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.