Medication can help improve focus and reduce impulsiveness and hyperactivity in people with ADHD. There are a variety of drugs available, and your doctor will work with you to find the one that is best for your teenager.
Common ADHD medicines are classified as either stimulants or non-stimulants.
Stimulants are the most commonly prescribed medications for this disorder and help improve focus and decrease impulsiveness. Medications work immediately, but their duration depends on whether the patient has taken a short-acting or long-acting formula.
- Short-acting formulas last for about 4 hours.
- Long-acting formulas last for about 12 hours, which is helpful for teens who need to focus during the day.
Non-stimulants are not as commonly prescribed as stimulants, but they can be just as effective for some people. Non-stimulants do not work as quickly as stimulants do. They can take up to a few weeks before they start to work, but they can last up to 24 hours.
Medication Side Effects
According to the Cleveland Clinic, stimulants have been known to cause some side effects such as decreased appetite, sleep problems, stomachache, headaches, dry mouth, and dizziness. If your teenager experiences any of these side effects, be sure to speak with their doctor.
On the other hand, non-stimulants do not cause as many side effects as stimulants.
Therapy can help teenagers learn how to manage their ADHD symptoms. Trained therapists can guide strategies for improving focus, controlling impulses, and managing stress, especially if they are ADHD specialists.
Therapy may also include parent training, which can help parents learn to better support and manage their teen with ADHD. Examples of treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, and psychoeducation.
Education is also important for teenagers with ADHD. They will need to learn about their condition and how they can best manage it, including learning about their medications, developing coping skills, and setting achievable goals.
Parents should also educate themselves on the topic to provide the best support possible. They can help their teenager stay on track and manage any challenges.