Best Medication for Inattentive ADD


"My daughter was recently diagnosed with inattentive ADD. She was put on an extended-release stimulant medication, and her attention span is better. But her language specialist told me that medication is less effective on children who are inattentive. Is this true?"

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

The literature and formal diagnostic manuals identify three types of ADHD: Primarily Inattentive Type, Primarily Hyperactive/Impulsive Type, and Combined Type (hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive). The treatment is the same whether the child has one, two, or all three of the behaviors. This treatment is medication, usually a stimulant. As her parent, you are in the best position to judge what's best for her. If you have observed that she is less easily distracted when she's taken her medication, it sounds as if she should stay on it.

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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