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How are medications used in ADHD treatment?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications work by helping the brain's chemical message carriers (neurotransmitters) function better.
  • They can help focus attention and decrease activity and impulsivity.
  • They can't cure ADHD or teach new behaviors or skills.
Just as glasses help people focus their eyes, medications allow people with ADHD to focus their thoughts and actions better.

There are several options for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with medication. Stimulants such as Ritalin (methylphenidate) have been used for decades. Nonstimulant medications—such as Wellbutrin (bupropion) or Straterra (atomoxetine)—are being used for some patients.

Continue Learning about ADD/ADHD Treatment

ADD/ADHD Treatment

ADD/ADHD Treatment

Because the symptoms of ADD/ADHD vary, treatment varies. Treatment may include medication, but lifestyle changes such as proper diet and outdoor exercise can help reduce ADD symptoms. Behavioral cognitive therapy can help those wi...

th ADD/ADHD improve focus and minimize distractions. Without proper treatment, children and adults with ADD and ADHD can develop drug and alcohol problems, and untreated children with ADD/ADHD have a higher likelihood of not finishing high school. However, with proper treatment, many patients are able to organize their lives, hold jobs and care for themselves.
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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.