Ask the Experts

Stimulant Medications Not Working

“Since I was diagnosed with ADHD, I’ve tried three different stimulants, at different doses. None has had any effect. I’ve read that ADHD medications usually make a dramatic difference. Could it be that they just don’t work for me?”

It is very unusual for someone with ADHD not to respond to a stimulant medication.

How did your doctor diagnose the ADHD? What criteria were used?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders outlines a list of ADHD symptoms that must be chronic and pervasive to substantiate a diagnosis. I suspect that either the diagnosis is incorrect or that there is more going on than just ADHD.

Discuss this with your doctor. Your conversation should focus on the reason for the behaviors you are concerned about rather than on why the medication did not work.