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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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1.20 Medication Treatment for Managing ADHD

  • Medications have been used safely for decades to treat ADHD. They do not cure the disorder but do help in controlling and reducing the symptoms. The most commonly used medications for treating ADHD are stimulants.
  • There continues to be much attention (media sensationalism and public controversy) regarding the use of stimulant medication in treating children with ADHD. A great deal of misinformation exists, which makes it difficult for parents trying to make an informed decision.
  • Parents need to consult with their physician or other medical professionals about any medication issues, questions, or concerns. This list of information is meant only as a general reference.

Stimulant Medications in the Treatment of ADHD

  • Stimulant medications (the methylphenidates) have been regularly used since the 1960s in the treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD (although it was not called ADHD at that time). Stimulants have been studied more extensively than any other psychoactive drug prescribed for children. Hundreds of controlled scientific studies demonstrating their effectiveness in treating children with ADHD have been conducted.
  • Stimulants have been used safely with millions of children for at least fifty to sixty years.
  • Stimulants have been proven to work for 70 to 90 percent of children with ADHD. They are also effective in adults. There are very few people with ADHD who do not respond to stimulant medications, and the results can be very ...

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