Adult ADD Drugs

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Tess Thompson

Adult ADD drugs for treating symptoms of adult attention deficit disorder can prove to be very effective if medication is prescribed in the correct context. However, patients tend to rely more on over the counter medication that can prove to be ineffective and even harmful in many cases.

If adult ADD medication has been prescribed, it is all the more important to follow the instructions of the physician to the last word as even small changes in dosage and the period for which it should be administered can make a vast difference.

Adult ADD drugs need to be administered only after proper analyses of the patient, as adults are likely to be on drugs for other ailments too. Such drugs often result in side effects that duplicate the symptoms of adult attention deficit disorder and can lead to confusion and even worsen the condition.

Prescribing adult ADD medication requires proper communication between the patient and the doctor. The doctor, on seeing a poor response of the patient to the medicine prescribed initially, will work with the patient to find another drug or a combination of drugs to control symptoms. Most of these drugs, however, require closer monitoring during the preliminary phase of the treatment.

Often more than one medicine is required to treat adult ADD, as adults are more likely to have multiple related symptoms like depression and anxiety. As such, treating adult ADD in a cavalier fashion can prove to be very dangerous and more often than not can aggravate the symptoms that it was intended to cure.

While prescribing adult ADD medication, the physician chooses from a variety of drugs available. In many cases medications that act on some of the same brain receptors as nicotine or for lowering blood pressure are used to control ADD symptoms. The physician may also have to consider options of prescribing a single drug, a combination of drug, or of slow or instant release drugs.

Over the past decade or so, options in medication have increased manifold. Stimulant medication like methylphenidate (Ritalin) and dextroamphetamine compounds (Dextrostat, Dexedrine Spansules and Adderall) are more often than not a frequent starting place in the pharmacological treatment of adult ADD. Different individuals require different dosages depending upon their body weight.

Whereas other stimulants, such as, amphetamine and some other tricyclics like Desipramine are known to have a response rate of 60 to 80%, there are non-stimulant adult ADD medications too. Atomoxetine is the first non-stimulant medicine, specifically approved by FDA in November 2002, for treatment of symptoms of adult attention deficit disorder. It strengthens those nerves that use norepinephrine to send messages. Norepinephrine is a catecholamine precursor of epinephrine that is secreted by the adrenal medulla and also released at synapses. Atomoxetine does not appear to affect the dopamine systems as directly as do the stimulants.

The need of the day, however, is that physicians require some more serious research on how adults respond to various drugs to enable them to develop second and third line treatment strategies for treating complex symptoms of adult attention deficit disorder.

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