Is ADD Genetic?


"I am 32 and pregnant. Can I continue to take Wellbutrin and Dexedrine? Also, what is our chance of having a child without ADD?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

There is no firm data on the possible impact the stimulant medications, such as Dexedrine, might have on the fetus. Thus, it is considered best not to be on such medications during pregnancy. When you are thinking of becoming pregnant, discuss this question with your physician.

Your second question is a good one. If you have ADHD and your future husband has a family history of ADHD, there is a possibility that your children might have ADHD. The figures are not fully known. It is estimated that there would be a 30 to 50 percent chance that any of your kids might have ADHD. This means that there is a 50 to 70 percent chance they will not. If they do, you will recognize the problem and seek diagnosis and help early so that your children will not have to wait until there are problems to be identified.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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