ADHD is a short attention span disorder. Kids with ADHD may carry issues like hyperactiveness and impulsiveness. The result of this is poor performance at school, difficulty in making friends, and issues with after-school practices. But luckily, modern treatments can control the side effects of ADHD in many children. These treatments commonly include taking ADHD meds using a pill reminder app, behavioral therapies under the supervision of a specialist, and educating parents and teachers on how to make affected kids behave more appropriately.
Numerous parents are particularly worried about the impacts of ADHD meds since they are stimulants by nature and because kids often take them for longer periods of time.
Stimulant are controlled substances because they have a potential for abuse. However, they are not viewed as addictive.
For more information, read this article as it will clear up some important facts and help you learn how to handle ADHD side effects.
ADHD medications are the key to treating the disorder. Though there is a variety of medications, not all of them are as popular as effective as the following ones:
- Short-Acting: Adderall, Focalin, Ritalin, Dexedrine,
- Intermediate Acting: Metadate ER, Ritalin SR, Dexedrine Spansule,
- Long-Acting: Adderall XR, Focalin XR, Concerta, Metadate CD, Daytrana, Ritalin LA, Vyvanse
You might get this impression from the list that there are a lot of ADHD medications to choose from, but your choice will quickly narrow when you realized that all these medicines are in fact different variants of just two ingredients – methylphenidate and amphetamine:
Medicines like Concerta, Focalin, and Focalin XR, Ritalin LA and Ritalin SR, Daytrana, Metadate CD and Metadate ER, are Methylphenidate based ADHD solutions. While Adderall, Adderall XR, Dexedrine, Dexedrine Spansule, and Vyvanse are Amphetamine-based solutions:
Wondering why so many variations of the same two ingredients? Each one is composed differently to make it last for a specific amount of time. For example, Concerta’s lasting time is 12 hours while Ritalin SR only lasts for about 8, even though both medicines have the same active ingredient i.e. methylphenidate.
In some cases, those worries are true. ADHD stimulants are notorious for causing weight loss, insomnia, and headaches.
Despite the fact that meds can tackle numerous ADHD symptoms, a few parents are still reluctant to give their child these medications because of the possible side effects. But in some cases, those are legit concerns because ADHD stimulants are infamous for causing reduced appetite, weight loss, insomnia, and headache. However, none of these effects causes serious health damage and can be easily managed by reducing the amount of dosage.
Sometimes, parents are reluctant to take ADHD drugs with the help of pill tracker app because they are concerned that the meds will make their kid aggressive or overly calm. Both of these are abnormal behaviors. But luckily, these are not regular side effects of ADHD drugs, and if your child ends up catching them, your doctor should be able to easily manage them by lowering the medicine’s dosage.
Some other ADHD medication side effects that worry parents can include:
Tics – The major worry over tics is that all stimulants list it as an opposition to their active ingredients. However, many ADHD specialists don’t agree with the thought that stimulants really cause or intensify Tics. They believe that ADHD and Tics may simply occur naturally in a few kids.
Sudden Death – Stimulants are known for causing sudden death in kids with genuine heart problems. Tell the specialist about any heart issues your kid has before he/she is recommended a stimulant for ADHD treatment.
Suicide – Some stimulants such as Strattera increase the risk of suicidal thoughts, which makes it exceedingly necessary to monitor your child’s behavior while on the med.
How To Minimize These Effects?
Keeping your realistic expectations from the medicine is the best way to minimize side effects. For instance, if your child is so aggressive that he creates trouble wherever he goes, then expect the medication to only reduce the amount of his aggressiveness, and not completely remove it. Feel okay if he creates trouble once every few weeks instead of daily and don’t try to increase the amount of medication without a doctor’s consultation.
Doctors and parents often make the mistake of trying to completely control ADHD symptoms when the main goal should just be to diminish the problematic behavior, enhance performance at school, and improve the bond with those around.
Other ways to minimize ADHD meds’ side effects
Take medications under the guidance of your specialist. Increase the dosage every 1-3 weeks until your child starts showing improvement or begins to have side effects.
Consider switching to different ADHD medicine if too many side effects start to appear. For example, if taking an amphetamine-based medication doesn’t seem to help, then try switching to a methylphenidate-based one.
If your child is experiencing drowsiness, ask the specialist if he should take his dose at bedtime.
Maintain regular contact with your specialist for ADHD checkups and monitoring your child’s blood pressure, heart rate, and weight to make sure the treatment is going well. Download a medication reminder app to keep Learn about ADHD meds’ side effects and see how our pill reminder app can help you tackle your health issues. track of doctor appointments and medications schedules.
Remember that ADHD medications may not control all of your child’s ADHD symptoms, particularly if he is experiencing those symptoms at high dosages. So, the goal should be to reduce the severity of symptoms, and not taking complete control of them.
If the improvement doesn’t appear even after taking several ADHD medications, instead of moving to higher dosages which ultimately increases the risk of side effects, just believe that he may be suffering from a different disorder such as depression.
Frequently Asked Questions
ADHD medications come in two types: stimulants and non-stimulants.
ADHD stimulants have three types: - Short-Acting: Adderall, Focalin, Ritalin, Dexedrine - Intermediate Acting: Metadate ER, Ritalin SR - Long-Acting: Adderall XR, Focalin XR, Concerta
- Intuniv - Strattera
Common side effects of ADHD meds include: - Decreased appetite - Weight loss - Insomnia - Headaches - Tics - Suicide - Sudden death
These are the most effective ways to minimize ADHD meds’ side effects: - Take medications under the guidance of your specialist - Increase the dosage every 1-3 weeks - Switch to different ADHD meds if too many side effects appear - Maintain regular contact with your specialist - Regularly monitor your child's blood pressure, heart rate, and weight