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Common medications for ADHD treatment

ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition that affects approximately 11 to 20 million adults and children in America today. While the numbers are steadily rising, the reasons behind these staggering statistics are yet unknown. Although many believe that ADHD is a newly discovered disorder, knowledge of it has been around since the late 1700s, but it was not labeled as such until the early 1900s. Throughout history, the symptoms of this disorder have been called several things, including “the fidgets.”

In 1936 the first medication to treat ADHD was approved by the FDA. Until 1955, when Methylphenidate, a stimulate, was released, Benzedrine was the only medication for this disorder. Unfortunately, not all patients can use stimulant medications, making the only treatments inaccessible until the late 1990s and early 2000s when newer drugs were developed.

What is ADHD

What is ADHD and how to get treatment

ADHD is a condition that is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Despite a considerable amount of research that is conducted each year, the cause of ADHD is not known though researchers believe that several factors including environmental toxins, brain injury, or alcohol and drug use during pregnancy may be contributing factors.

Symptoms of ADHD include the inability to concentrate or focus on one task at a time, excessive talkativeness, inability to wait on others, disorganization, lack of patience, and difficulty following directions as well as several others.

Unfortunately, getting a proper diagnosis of ADHD can be as complicated as the disorder itself. Symptoms of several other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression can be mistaken for ADHD. Only a qualified practitioner experienced in treating patients with this disorder can make the determination. The diagnosis must begin by a review of the medical history and an examination that not only rules out other issues but also evaluates the patient for the ability to take medications if treatment is appropriate. To be diagnosed, patients must have symptoms of inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behavior for at least six months and that they must be present and disruptive to everyday life.

Treatment options for ADHD

Most patients are treated with both medications and behavioral modification therapy. During therapy, patients are shown effective techniques and alternative behaviors that will help them cope with their disorder. Counselors typically also help the patients work through any emotional problems that steam from being diagnosed as well.

Pharmaceutical treatments are typically one of two forms, stimulant or non-stimulant medications. Both types of medicines are effective in treating ADHD, although stimulants seem to be better at controlling the symptoms than non-stimulants. Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for stimulant therapy because of other health conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Non-stimulant medications are often longer lasting than stimulant medications and can be useful for 24 hours, whereas stimulants might be effective for a short time then wear off quickly.

Patients are often put on low dose stimulant medications by their physician first; then, the levels are titrated to the optimal dosage. Because stimulants can be addictive, doctors will want to monitor your progress, so periodic visits to the clinic are necessary.

Some of the most popular ADHD medications are:

Stimulants for ADHD Treatment

  • Methylphenidate; marketed under Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana, Quillivant and other names
  • Focalin
  • Dexedrine
  • Vyvanse

Non-stimulant drugs for ADHD

Some websites are marketing “natural” remedies such as supplements, but at this time, the FDA has not approved any for treatment due to lack of evidence of efficacy and concerns with the formulation.

ADHD Treatment Misconceptions

ADHD treatment misconceptions

For many years, people believed that children with ADHD needed better, more effective discipline techniques or that as they matured, the child would grow out of it. Unfortunately, neither is correct. Children and adults are limited in their ability to control their condition without the help of medication and support from knowledgeable therapists.

While some children do seem to “grow out” of their symptoms, the truth is that with age, they are better prepared to handle ADHD than as a child. Additionally, some adults displayed no symptoms during adolescence, but once they entered the workforce or took on the responsibilities of running a household, the signs that were once unnoticed became apparent. Despite what some may think, even though they were not diagnosed as a child, these adults had the disorder all their life.

EZCare can help with ADHD

EZCare Clinic in San Francisco can help adults struggling with the symptoms of ADHD. Dedicated physicians, clinicians, and therapists are available Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm who can diagnose and prescribe the necessary medications as well as work with you to learn effective coping techniques. Working with an experienced medical team is the first step to living a better, more fulfilled life. Call today for an appointment at (415) 966-0848 or schedule an appointment online. You don’t have to suffer alone; help is available.

ADHD online test


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Daytrana Prescription for ADHD

Daytrana is the commercial name for methylphenidate transdermal system. It is one of several medications that are marketed for the treatment of ADHD; however, unlike other drugs, it is taken transdermally. A transdermal patch is a medicated adhesive patch that looks much like a large band-aid that is placed on the skin to deliver a specific dose of medication. It is passed through the skin into the bloodstream. There are several advantages of using a transdermal delivery system over a traditional method. The patch provides a controlled release of the medication into the patient over time, usually through either a porous membrane or through body heat that melts the medication embedded in the adhesive. In some ADHD patients, Daytrana is prescribed as a second-line treatment when traditional oral forms are not well-tolerated or when patients have difficulty with complying.

Daytrana is the long-acting formulation of methylphenidate, a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. It works in the CNS to selectively inhibit the presynaptic reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine. In clinical trials, this medication was shown to be very effective in otherwise healthy adults.

Side effects of Daytrana

Like other Methylphenidate prescriptions, Daytrana is usually well-tolerated but can have some adverse effects such as:

  • Appetites and weight lossDaytrana side effects
  • Dry mouth or eyes
  • Anxiety, nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness/fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased heart rate
  • Changes in blood pressure

These symptoms typically subside over time, but should any severe conditions occur, speak with your doctor. Symptoms of an allergic reaction such as swelling of the face, tongue, or throat is an emergency, and medical attention should be sought immediately.

Methylphenidate/Daytrana is a stimulant that has the risk of dependence or addition similar to amphetamines when it is used in high doses or for long periods. Periodically, your doctor will re-evaluate your condition and make adjustments as necessary.

What causes ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a chronic mental condition that is marked by a pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. It can impact virtually every aspect of a patient’s life through emotions, behaviors, and the ability to learn new things.

Symptoms of ADHD can change over time, but it is a lifelong challenge. There is no cure for ADHD, with medication and other treatment, symptoms can be controlled to improve the quality of life.

Common ADHD symptoms include:

  • Extreme restlessness
  • Difficulty participating in quiet activities
  • Excessive talking
  • Little or lack of patience
  • Inability to wait on others
  • Don’t think about the consequences of actions

While research has developed many newer and more effective medications and techniques that can help to control symptoms, the cause of ADHD is yet unknown. Scientists do believe, however, that certain factors may contribute to the development. Exposure to environmental toxins such as lead, brain injury, alcohol, or substance abuse during pregnancy, genetics (ADHD tends to run in families), and poor nutrition are all thought to contribute to ADHD. Despite some very profound claims, sugar, watching too much television and lack of discipline are not the causes of this disorder.

ADHD treatment options in San Francisco

Getting diagnosed with any mental health issue can be complicated. There are no laboratory tests that can definitively say someone has ADHD. Diagnosis is made through extensive elimination and evaluation by a physician. Symptoms of ADHD and other conditions can be the same. Doctors must rule out the presence of those conditions before a diagnosis can be made. The standard for an ADHD diagnosis is that at least six of the nine symptoms of inattention and impulsivity be present and drastically interfere with daily life for at least six months.  This process can take some time, but it is essential that a correct diagnosis is determined. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for patients to also have an anxiety disorder or depression due to the complications of living with ADHD.

Like many other mental illnesses, ADHD can be treated with medications, therapy, or a combination of both. While some patients tend to avoid therapy due to the stigma associated with mental health, most doctors feel that the benefits are very effective. Therapists or counselors can not only work through the intense emotions that these types of disorders cause, but they can also help patients learn beneficial coping techniques to use when symptoms arise. Speak with a licensed ADHD doctor in San Francisco to see if we can help. 

Like Daytrana, other ADHD medications can help control the symptoms of the disorder. Working with your doctor to find the right combination can be tedious, but in the end, it is well worth the effort.

ADHD Care at EZCare

EZCare Clinic of San Francisco is equipped to help you in your journey for appropriate ADHD treatment. From diagnosis to treatment, our practitioners will help you find the best options for your condition. Our office is open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. Call us at (415) 966-0848 for an appointment, or schedule one online.

You can take a preliminary self-assessment here to give you an idea of your possible condition before visiting the doctor.

 


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