The stimulant mediations used to treat ADHD have been a controversial topic in recent years. ADHD itself is a controversial disorder that is often perceived as over-diagnosed. However, stimulant medications are proven to be an effective way to manage the symptoms of the disorder.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a disorder found to affect between three to five percent of the population under the age of nineteen. The three diagnostic subtypes of ADHD are predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive and combined. Behavioral problems such as disrupting class and blurting out answers are more often seen in the hyperactive subtype.
Inattentive children have fewer behavioral problems but more academic difficulties due to their trouble with focusing. The combined subtype features symptoms of both hyperactivity and inattention.
How Do ADHD Medications Work?
Methylphendidate, which is possibly the most common ADHD drug, acts by inhibiting dopamine uptake in the brain. This improves cognitive function in children with ADHD and helps them focus. Stimulants can reduce motor over-reactivity in a hyper child as a result of the increased focus.
They can also enhance cognitive functions in the brains of patients without ADHD. Side Effects of Stimulants Side effects of stimulant medications include dry mouth, fast heart rate, nervousness, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite and weight loss. While hyperactivity may be subdued, the effects of a stimulant drug can also induce anxiety.
This creates problems for many people with ADHD because ADHD and anxiety disorders are frequently comorbid conditions. Still, stimulant medications have the ability to enhance the lives of patients with ADHD if they do not consider the side effects to be too severe.
ADHD Medication Controversy Stimulant treatment for ADHD is often viewed as dangerous and addictive. The controversial aspect of stimulant medications comes partly from their similarities to illegal stimulant drugs such as cocaine. However, at therapeutic doses, stimulant medications have no euphoric high and a minimal risk for dependence.