The PROs and CONs of ADHD Medication

In the last few decades, the number of people taking some form of ADHD medication has increased astronomically. This increase is not necessarily an indication that more people have ADHD. It is more the result of better diagnostic skills and increased knowledge about this condition. In many cases, parents and teachers who have no problem telling parents their kid needs to be medicated. While medication may be indicated in many cases, it should not necessarily be your first choice.

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ADHD medications, such as Ritalin and Adderall, have been known to decrease symptoms such as inability to focus and motivation. Some people with ADHD may find that their symptoms will not dramatically improve without taking medication. However, many others with the diagnosis may find that routine exercise and a change in diet will help. To help you decide which path is right for you, here are the PROs and CONs of taking ADHD medication.

Finding the Right ADHD Medication

The most challenging part of finding the right ADHD medications for you or your child is determining the right dosage. If the doctor prescribes the right dosage, you or your child will become more focused and less hyperactive. On the other hand, if he prescribes too much of these medications, it can significantly increase unwelcome behaviors.

Along the same train of thought, no two people with ADHD are likely to respond to the same medication in different ways. Some might work well while others either don’t work or they have the opposite effect of the one desired. At the same time, not everyone reacts the same way to different versions of the same medications. There are several different release formulas for these and many other medications.

The term “release” indicates the speed at which your bloodstream absorbs the medication. Short-acting medications enter the bloodstream almost immediately and have a lifespan of approximately 4 hours. Long-acting medications enter your bloodstream slowly over several hours and may last for up to 14 hours. If one type of medication or release mechanism doesn’t work, your doctor will try switching them. He will continue doing this until he finds a medication and method of release that works.

The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

The Importance of Doctor’s Advice Regarding ADHD Medication

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, which can significantly impact daily life. While there are various treatments available for ADHD, medication is often prescribed as the first line of treatment. However, it is crucial to understand the importance of seeking a doctor’s advice before starting any medication for ADHD.

Seeking a doctor’s advice before taking any medication for ADHD is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, a doctor can properly diagnose the condition and determine if medication is necessary. ADHD shares symptoms with other mental health disorders, making it essential to receive an accurate diagnosis.

Secondly, a doctor can prescribe the most suitable medication based on factors such as age, medical history, and severity of symptoms. Different medications work differently for individuals, and a doctor’s expertise can help find the best fit.

Thirdly, ADHD medication can have side effects that may affect an individual’s daily life. A doctor’s guidance is crucial in managing these side effects and adjusting the dosage if needed.

The PROs of ADHD Medication

There are two major categories for ADHD medications: stimulants (amphetamines) and non-stimulants (methylphenidates). Your doctor may recommend one or the other, depending on the symptoms of ADHD you or your child are experiencing. These categories are:

Stimulants (Amphetamines)

Stimulants – such as Adderall, Eveko, and Dexedrine work by stimulating specific brain cells. These cells will then produce more norepinephrine, dopa, and dopamines. These “chemicals” help your brain to focus and help you or your child to ignore the distractions of daily life. These stimulants account for approximately 70 to 80 percent of all ADHD medication prescriptions.

Non – Stimulants – such as Concerta, Focalin XR, Quillivant, and Ritalin help to boost norepinephrine levels. Additionally, your doctor may recommend these alternatives if stimulants don’t work for you. Despite their differences, the benefits of using either of these types of ADHD medication are similar. Therefore, we have compiled all the PROS together in one simple list to make things a little easier for you.

  • Reduced Procrastination.
  • Motivation increases.
  • Afternoon drowsiness lessens or diminishes altogether.
  • Productivity spikes.
  • Social life tends to improve.
  • Performance in school or work improves.
  • Impulsivity decreases.
  • Attention span expands.
  • Focus lasts for longer periods of time.
  • Hyperactivity lessens.
  • Thoughts slow down to a manageable pace.

You may find that taking medication is the thing that can help you cope with your ADHD symptoms the most. Many aspects of the medication directly counteract hyperactivity, racing thoughts, inability to focus, short attention span and procrastination or demotivation. If you’re considering taking ADHD medication, first learn about the CONs or the side effects, and then schedule a consultation with your general physician.

The CONs of ADHD Medication

The CONs of taking ADHD medication are apparent in the numerous known side effects. It’s important to note that you will most likely not experience every side effect. If you feel that some of these are manageable then you may not consider any of them to be strong enough CONs to keep you from taking the medication. We have consolidated these side effects into one comprehensive list for you.

Side Effects of Stimulant ADHD Medication

  • Feeling jittery
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and upset stomach
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Involuntary movements (tics)
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight loss

Side Effects of Non-Stimulant ADHD Medication

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Nausea and upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Weight loss

Something else to note here is that the side effects may not last forever. Some of them, if not all of them, may drop off or stop after your body becomes used to the new medication.

Treatments for ADHD

Whatever you decide, you should pair your decision with high-quality supplements and exercise. Regular exercise not only improves the symptoms of ADHD but also improves the side effects of ADHD medication. Team sports, boxing (hitting a punching bag) and core-strengthening exercises have all been shown to help our clients deal with their symptoms. Not only are they less restless, less fidgety and more focused, but they also build self-confidence, balance, and endurance because of their exercise routines.

If you’re looking to manage your ADHD symptoms or ADHD medication side effects through exercise, consider reaching out to Special Strong. Moreover, our expertise in helping children and adults with ADHD and other special needs improve their lives through fitness is unparalleled. Sign up for private training sessions or one of our local group classes today.

Understanding the Importance of Exercise for Individuals with ADHD

Living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) poses unique challenges, including difficulties in maintaining focus, impulsivity, and restlessness. While traditional treatment approaches often involve medication and therapy, incorporating regular exercise into the routine can be a powerful complementary strategy. Exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on ADHD symptoms by promoting neurobiological changes that enhance cognitive function and emotional well-being. Here, we explore different types of exercises that individuals with ADHD can incorporate into their lifestyles to harness the benefits for improved attention, impulse control, and overall mental health.

1. Aerobic Exercise:

Aerobic or cardiovascular exercises, such as running, cycling, swimming, and brisk walking, are particularly beneficial for individuals with ADHD. These activities increase blood flow to the brain, leading to improved executive function and attention. Engaging in aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes several times a week can significantly reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity, helping individuals better manage their symptoms.

2. Strength Training:

In addition to aerobic exercise, strength training provides a valuable outlet for individuals with ADHD. Activities like weightlifting or bodyweight exercises not only contribute to physical health but also enhance cognitive function. Regular strength training can help improve focus, attention span, and self-regulation, making it a valuable component of a comprehensive ADHD management plan.

3. Mind-Body Exercises:

Mind-body exercises, such as yoga and tai chi, emphasize the connection between the mind and body. These activities promote relaxation, mindfulness, and improved self-awareness. For individuals with ADHD, incorporating mind-body exercises into their routine can be particularly beneficial in reducing stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity. These practices provide a holistic approach to managing ADHD symptoms by addressing both physical and mental well-being.

4. Team Sports:

Participating in team sports can offer individuals with ADHD a structured and social outlet for physical activity. Team sports not only provide the physical benefits of exercise but also contribute to improved social skills, teamwork, and self-discipline. Sports like soccer, basketball, or volleyball can be excellent choices, allowing individuals to channel their energy in a positive and constructive manner.

5. Interval Training:

Interval training involves alternating between short bursts of intense activity and periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. This approach has shown promise in improving attention and cognitive performance in individuals with ADHD. The intensity variation helps stimulate the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which play a crucial role in regulating attention and mood.

In conclusion, incorporating a variety of exercises into the routine can be a powerful strategy for managing ADHD symptoms. It’s essential for individuals to explore different types of activities and find what works best for them, considering personal preferences and interests. Regular physical activity not only contributes to overall health but can also serve as a valuable tool in enhancing the daily functioning of individuals with ADHD.

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