Most people know that attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder syndrome (ADHD) is characterized by inability to concentrate, excessive impulsiveness, hyperactivity and anxiety. The ADHD diagnosis can only be confirmed if the behavioral disorders have been observed during long period of time. Usually, ADHD develops in childhood (in children of 3 to 6 years old). Still, there is a chance that symptoms of this behavioral disorder may occur in children, later observed in teenagers and adults.
It were American scientists, who have claimed that ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder. Therefore namely the USA was the country that developed special standards to diagnose the ADHD. These standards were represented on public in “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”.
This manual states that in order to diagnose ADHD in childhood, one should necessarily consider the level of physical, emotional, mental and social development of a child. Mandatory point is monitoring of child’s behavior in different situations, including: home, school and relationships with friends.
There are three types of ADHD:
- ADHD with predominant attention deficit;
- ADHD with predominant hyperactivity and impulsiveness;
- combined ADHD, including all the listed symptoms
The ADHD therapy involves a complex approach: psycho-educational therapy and drug therapy. For better control over the ADHD symptoms, the FDA has approved two types of ADHD meds: the CNS stimulants and non-stimulant agents.
Regardless of the type of ADHD meds, these drugs can be prescribed for patients over 6 years old only. An overwhelming majority of people, are recommended to begin the behavioral disorder therapy with ADHD meds that stimulate the CNS.
CNS stimulants and ADHD treatment
Usually doctors prescribe ADHD meds, containing active substance, called Methylphenidate. On pharmaceutical market, these ADHD meds are available under the trade names: Concerta, APO-Methylphenidate, Daytrana, Biphentin, Metadate, PMS-Methylphenidate, Methylin, PHL-Methylphenidate and Ritalin.
The duration of pharmacological effect of the listed ADHD meds depends on the dosage forms (tablets, capsules, solution, suspension and patch). Therapeutic effect of these ADHD meds is achieved by increasing the dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain, influencing on the mental activity, attention and motivation.
Non-stimulant agents and ADHD treatment
The first non-stimulant ADHD medication was norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor Atomoxetine. The CNS norepinephrine controls the activity of brain receptors, regulating the speed of reaction, attention and impulsiveness.
Non-stimulant ADHD meds are prescribed in case the CNS stimulants do not provide the expected therapeutic effect, or if person is contraindicated to use medications, stimulating the CNS.
Unlike the CNS stimulants, non-stimulant ADHD meds never cause the drug dependence in patients. The truth is that all medications, affecting the CNS (ADHD meds included) can stimulate mental and (or) physical addiction. Therefore ADHD meds that stimulate the CNS cannot be prescribed for patients, who have or have had alcohol and (or) drug addiction.
It is also important that failure to comply with dose regimen of ADHD meds worsens the control over the ADHD symptoms. Because when person misses a dose of ADHD meds, the behavioral disorder symptoms become worse, therefore effectiveness of ADHD medical treatment decreases.
But if person abuses ADHD meds, he may become tolerant to their therapeutic properties. So, further use of ADHD meds becomes impractical. That is why one should take every other dose of ADHD meds at one and the same time and observe the daily dose the doctor prescribed.