ADHD is the most common neurological disorder in children and adolescents. This neurological disorder is less frequently diagnosed in adults. Main ADHD symptoms in children are:
- motor hyperactivity and excessive impulsivity;
- impaired concentration and distractibility;
- difficulties in relationships with others (including peers);
- behavioral disorder and learning difficulties.
ADHD symptoms are similar in children and adults. Despite the fact that an adult person is much easier to control ADHD symptoms, patient’s age does not affect the choice of effective and safe medication for ADHD treatment.
It should be noted that some ADHD meds are available in different dosage forms. So, if a child or adult has difficulty swallowing oral tablets or capsules, it is better to choose ADHD meds, made in the form of oral suspension, oral solution, chewable pills or transdermal patch.
Methylphenidate is one of the few ADHD meds which is available in different dosage forms. This medication was developed in the middle of the last century and is still prescribed for ADHD treatment due to its high efficiency and safety.
Term of patent protection for the the invention of pharmaceutical substance Methylphenidate expired more than 40 years ago. So, today ADHD meds, containing Methylphenidate are manufactured by several pharmaceutical companies around the world.
ADHD treatment is not the only indication for the medications, containing active ingredient Methylphenidate. Some patients are prescribed Methylphenidate to treat narcolepsy, the symptoms of which are daytime sleepiness and sudden loss of muscle tone.
Methylphenidate is not the only CNS stimulant, prescribed to treat ADHD in children and adults. If ADHD meds, containing Methylphenidate are contraindicated, CNS stimulant Dextroamphetamine can be prescribed for the effective control of ADHD symptoms.
Like Methylphenidate, Dextroamphetamine has the property to reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity, as well as to improve concentration. Efficiency of both ADHD meds (Methylphenidate and Dextroamphetamine) is almost identical. Taken into account that these ADHD meds affect CNS functions, a person may experience headache, insomnia and anxiety after their use.
In order to reduce the likelihood of side effects from CNS, one should start taking ADHD meds with minimum daily doses. ADHD meds, stimulating CNS should be discontinued gradually, daily reducing their daily dose.
If side effects are strongly pronounced while using CNS stimulants, a child, adolescent or adult person may be advised to abandon their use and to take non-stimulant ADHD meds (for example, Atomoxetine) as an alternative.
Given that non-stimulant ADHD meds do not affect CNS functions, the risk of insomnia, anxiety and headache does not increase after their use. So, non-stimulant ADHD meds are recommended in case if a patient with ADHD experiences the symptoms of anxiety disorder or depression.
After using non-stimulant ADHD meds, one can experience gastrointestinal side effects (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain). However like CNS stimulants, non-stimulant ADHD meds can suppress appetite and cardiovascular side effects may occur in some patients after their use.
Optimal daily dose of any ADHD meds depends on the severity of neurological symptoms, age and (or) weight of a person. If weight of adult patient is less than 70 kg, he is usually prescribed minimum or average daily doses of ADHD meds. Maximum daily doses of ADHD meds can be prescribed only to patients with severe neurological symptoms or patients with body weight significantly exceeds the norm.