How does Focalin treat ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be a complicated condition to treat. Though in children, the symptoms are sometimes apparent in adults, diagnosis can be trickier. While both age groups present with the classic symptoms of inattention and impulse control, the third, hyperactivity may lessen as we age, making ADHD harder to recognize in an older population. Additionally, though every adult that is diagnosed later in life always had the condition, it might not have caused them any issues while younger due to their ability to function at a higher capacity and mask the symptoms altogether.
Despite when a patient is diagnosed, the issues caused by ADHD can be overwhelming. The inability to concentrate on the “mundane” tasks or being a disorganized student or worker can be challenging. It is important that individuals who are struggling find help for their condition; otherwise, what is an annoyance now, will become a burden as they are no longer able to cope. Depression and anxiety disorder are also often found in individuals who have been undiagnosed and are struggling to make sense of their situation.
What causes ADHD?
Although the causes of ADHD are not yet known, researchers believe that several things may contribute to the condition, including:
- Hereditary changes; ADHD tends to run in families
- Chemical imbalance
- Changes in the brain; areas of the brain that control attention are less active in children with ADHD
- Poor nutrition
- Substance abuse during pregnancy
- Toxins such as lead
- Brain injury or disorder; damage to the frontal lobe can cause problems with controlling impulses and emotions.
Despite what some may believe, too much sugar, watching too much TV, a poor home life, poor schools, or food allergies do not cause ADHD. Unfortunately, this condition cannot be prevented or cured, but with early diagnosis, intervention, and educational support, children and adults with ADHD can manage their symptoms.
Only a qualified medical professional such as a physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist correctly diagnoses ADHD. Unfortunately, other conditions can mimic this condition, making it necessary not to just diagnosis based on the symptoms alone, though recognizing the symptoms are essential to treatment. Most practitioners will conduct an in-depth clinical interview that includes discussing the symptoms to find the root cause. Once satisfied that the symptoms are indeed consistent with ADHD, most practitioners will use a rating scale completed by the patient and loved ones to rate their symptoms in various situations.
Next, the practitioner will conduct a physical exam to make sure that other medical issues are not the cause of symptoms as well as evaluate if the patient can safely take medications for ADHD. Once all of these things have been done, the medical doctor or mental health practitioner will determine if an ADHD diagnosis is appropriate and what kind of treatment is necessary.
Treatment of ADHD
Once a diagnosis has been made, the practitioner and patient will determine if medication, therapy, or both should be used as a treatment method. Some individuals, depending on the severity of ADHD, may want to start with one or the other, but not both. While therapy is a good tool to help individuals learn various coping techniques, most practitioners recommend that patients also take medication to get their symptoms under control.
There are several medicines available for ADHD; some are stimulants while others are not. Stimulant drugs regulate symptoms such as hyperactivity and impulsiveness by increasing the levels of chemicals such as dopamine and norepinephrine that help send signals in the brain. While non-stimulants work differently depending on what medication it is. Some increase nerve activity, but others work with the chemical messengers in the brain.
Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate) is a mild stimulant that affects certain chemicals in the brain that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control. Although it is considered a mild medication when compared to some others, Focalin can be useful in controlling behavior, increased organizational skills, and focus as well as improving the patient’s listening skills.
All medications can cause side effects. Focalin is no different.
Focalin side effects
Common side effects are:
- Trouble sleeping
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Because Focalin has been shown to affect blood pressure, patients who have been prescribed this medication should be monitored for any changes.
Patients who believe the symptoms they are experiencing are affecting their day to day lives should be evaluated for ADHD. Regardless if you were not diagnosed during childhood, ADHD could be playing a part in your condition.
EZCare Clinic in San Francisco can help you put your life back on track. We have a full range of providers who can tailor any treatment to your needs. In addition to medications, we can also offer counseling to learn effective coping techniques.
Don’t wait, call EZCare Clinic today. Peace of mind is just around the corner.