9. “If you have high blood pressure, you can’t take stimulants.”
An adult should have a thorough physical before starting any new medication, and adults with ADD/ADHD should have their blood pressure and heart rate checked before beginning, and periodically during, treatment.
However, Weiss dashes the common myth that hypertension precludes taking ADD/ADHD medication: “I would say that it is never a contraindication. You treat the hypertension first. And, in fact, there are medications for ADD/ADHD that lower blood pressure.” These include generic guanfacine and its longer-acting brand-name formulation, Intuniv, which can lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. These medications are often used as an alternative to, or in conjunction with, stimulants.