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The PROs and CONs of ADHD Medication

The PROs And CONs Of ADHD Medication

ADHD medications, such as Ritalin and Adderall, have been known to decrease symptoms such as inability to focus and demotivation. 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.

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 PROs of ADHD Medication

There are two major categories for ADHD medications: stimulants and non-stimulants. Stimulants boost dopamine while non-stimulants boost norepinephrine. The benefits of using stimulant and non-stimulant ADHD medication are fairly even, however, so we’ll lump the PROs into one list.

  • Procrastination is stunted.
  • 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 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 they may not be considered strong enough CONs to keep you from taking the medication.

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 a nutritional diet 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 ready to try exercise as a way to manager your ADHD symptoms or ADHD medication side effects, reach out to Special Strong. We specialize in helping children and adults with ADHD and other special needs improve their lives through fitness. Sign up for private training sessions or one of our local boot camps today.


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