Treatments for ADHD (ADD)

ADHD (ADD) Treatments | St. Pete, FL


ADHD cannot be cured, but the ADHD symptoms can be managed. Finding the most effective ADHD medication is crucial to managing symptoms. ADHD symptom presentation is different from one person to the next. The body’s ability to tolerate and process medication also varies from person to person. While research shows that stimulant medication is more effective in treating ADHD than non-stimulants, some individuals are not able to tolerate even the lowest dosage of the stimulants.

Stimulant Medications

There are several stimulant medications on the market. They vary in strength, time release factors, amount of time that the chemical is active in the body and dosage range. These medications help to reduce hyperactivity, distractibility and inattentiveness. Stimulant medications are usually the first line treatment choice as they are most effective and yield the quickest results. The doctor will collaborate with the patient in finding the stimulant medications that are right for them. The process requires patience because adjustments may be required over time. The prescribing doctor may adjust the dosage, change brands or switch to non-stimulant medications depending on how the patient reacts to treatment. Stimulants are not appropriate for people who have certain pre-existing conditions such as Glaucoma, severe anxiety and psychosis. Common side effects of stimulant medications include, but not limited to, insomnia, decreased appetite, jitteriness and reduced growth rate in children. To find out more about the side effects of stimulant medication consult with your pharmacist and read the pamphlets that accompany the prescriptions.

Non-stimulant Medications and Other ADHD Drugs

Non-stimulant medications used to treat ADHD include Atomoxetine (Strattera) and antidepressants such as Bupropion (Wellbutrin) and Desipramine (Norpramin), Clonidine (Catapres) and Guanfacine (Intuniv, Tenex). Non-stimulant medications work slower than stimulants and may take several weeks before they take full effect. These are secondary protocol when the stimulant medications are not well tolerated or when pre-existing health conditions deem stimulants inappropriate. However, Non-stimulant medications have side effects as well that must be monitored. There are pre-existing conditions that your doctor should be aware of before these medications are prescribed. Tell your doctor if you are already being treated for depression or high or low blood pressure.

Treatment Alternatives

These types of products and treatments are reported to show some improvements in the symptoms of some individuals with ADHD, however, there aren’t sufficient research studies that yield evidence that supports their effectiveness in treating ADHD in the place of stimulant medications. Therefore, few doctors choose these as first-line treatment options.


Omega-3-fish oils: Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. You could try it in the pharmaceutical grade supplement form or consume food high in Omega-3 such as salmon, sardines and tuna. There are some findings that suggest that fish oil supplementation may improve mental skills in children with ADHD.

Ginseng & Ginkgo: One study suggests that Gingko in combination with ginseng may improve symptoms of ADHD. American Ginseng should be used with caution in patients with a history of diabetes, hormone-sensitive conditions, insomnia, or schizophrenia. It can have an adverse interaction with several medications, including but not limited to, blood-thinning medications.

Valerian: Valerian is an herb that is made from a root. Valerian is commonly used as a sleep aid but it is said to calm hyperactivity. However, it doesn’t improve concentration.


The Feingold Diet proposed the elimination of artificial colorings, flavorings, and preservatives in order to decrease hyperactivity. Some parents who have tried the elimination diet have reported an improvement in their child’s behavior.

ADHD Counseling and Coaching

ADHD Counseling and coaching are essential ADHD treatment. This treatment will address the emotional and psychological products of ADHD that can’t be addressed by medication such as disorganization, poor time management, anxiety, depression and social skills deficits.

Both children and adults benefit from psychotherapy and coaching. It works best when combined with medication. However, if the patient is not taking medication, psychotherapy and coaching are still very helpful for both the patients and their families.

The family and significant others should be included in the treatment plan. The patient isn’t the only one who is suffering when ADHD is involved. The spouse and family often suffer frustration, guilt, resentment, loss of patience, anger and a chaotic home life. The spouse and/or family’s reaction to the patient often make things worse for the patient and the family and fuels the chaotic cycle. Therefore, couples and families need help with coping and they need to learn how to make things better. With treatment, couples and families will experience a home life that is more peaceful, more organized and less frustrating. Couples can once again enjoy a satisfying marriage.

The psychotherapy approach should be Integrative and Holistic, tailoring the treatment to the individual’s needs. It should also include assisting and consulting with the patient’s employers and learning institutions as part of the treatment plan if the patient and family desires and if it will contribute to the success of the patient. Psychotherapy and coaching demand a great deal of work on the part of the patient. By all means, don’t allow this fact to be a deterrent from seeking treatment; the benefits make it well worth the effort. When therapy is complete, the quality of life for the patient, the couple, the child, or the family will be greatly improved, and the patient will experience significant gains in productivity and success.

An ADHD study published in The Journal of Attention Disorders on October 6, 2016, followed 88 adults with ADHD who were randomly chosen to receive either CBT on its own, or CBT combined with stimulant medication. All of the participants participated in 12 weekly group CBT sessions, as well as 12 brief individual sessions and weekly phone calls with their therapists. The medication group had its dose optimized over the course of several weeks before beginning therapy and then maintained that dose during and after the therapy period.

Results taken immediately after the conclusion of the 12-week CBT program showed that the CBT-plus-medication group showed significantly more improvement in ADHD symptoms, organizational skills, and self-esteem than did the CBT-only group. At a follow-up six months later, however, researchers reported that both groups performed equally well on all of the above measures; the CBT-plus-medication group appeared to have maintained its post-treatment levels, while the CBT-only group had continued to improve even after formal therapy stopped.

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