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How Do ADD / ADHD Medications Really Work?

Posted Nov 10 2010 11:07am

I recently answered this question and thought it was worth sharing. Plus, it really got me thinking. For those of you who do take medications yourself, or have children taking medications, what experience do you have or see as a result?

It’s difficult to say what you changes you might see in your husband without knowing which exact medication he is being prescribed. There are different types, two primary to be exact (stimulants and non-stimulants) along with some “off-label” medications that are for other conditions but have also shown to work with ADD / ADHD.

Depending upon which medication he is prescribed, along with his particular type of ADD / ADHD, his experience of ADD / ADHD, and how his body reacts, there is just know way to tell.

In most cases, there are generally side-effects, and I would encourage you to watch for them, ask him about them, and then have him communicate with his prescribing physician if there is any concern.

As for how they help, the best way I can put it is that the medications are said to improve focus, concentration, and attention so that his brain or his energy can be focused on other tasks. The medication itself does not get rid of ADD / ADHD… It merely relieves symptom experience so he can dedicate “resources” to other tasks.

One friend of mine who has taken ADD / ADHD medication for different periods in his life (a young adult) has shared with me that it allows him to better control his emotional reaction to situations and deal with them more effectively.

Unfortunately, I can’t get you a better answer right now without knowing more about your husband and which medication he will be prescribed. But I hope this helps.

As for whether they work or not (the medications), biologically they do. But again, they are not a cure for ADD / ADHD. They do not suddenly make life miraculously better. There are still lots of things to work on, and the medication is supposed to help with that…but certainly not resolve everything.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, or personal experience with medication. Go ahead and share with us all what experience you have had. We’d also love for you to share this with anyone you know who might find this information or your comments useful.

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