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Free Guide: What You Need to Know to About ADHD Medications

Follow these rules to maximize the benefits of ADHD medications while minimizing their side effects on children and adults with attention deficit.

Medication — either stimulants or non-stimulants — can be very effective at reducing symptoms of ADHD like hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. But it’s essential to pick the right medication and to use it properly. Here, Dr. Larry Silver and Dr. William Dodson, each a psychiatrist with more than 30 years of experience treating children and adults with ADHD, offer rules to get the most out of your medication, including:

1. Don’t be too trusting. The medication might last as long as it says it will — but it might not! Work with your doctor to make sure you’re covered when you need to be.

2. Factor in diet and nutrition — as well as other medications. Did you know, for instance, that cold/sinus/hay fever medications that contain decongestants may cause a mildly unpleasant “buzz” in people on ADHD medications? Tell your doctor every medication you’re on — not just the ones you have a prescription for.

3. Don’t expect miracles! ADHD medication is effective, but you’ll likely need to try a few formulations and dosages before you find one that works for you. Be patient, and you’ll likely be rewarded in the end.

These rules (and six more) will help you manage your medication regime — maximizing the benefits while minimizing side effects.

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