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Treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The treatment of ADHD often requires several interventions in your child’s environments in order to improve the ability to function. Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and other organizations encourage doctors to work as a team with family and school or work personnel. Together, you can set realistic treatment and performance goals and evaluate your child’s response in every area of activity.

Properly selected and closely administered medications have generated life-changing results in children with ADHD. However, there are many issues to consider when you begin drug treatment. Issues include the difficulty of diagnosing accurately, the ability and willingness to adhere to a strict treatment and medication regimen, and the addicting potential of some of the medications. Medications are usually beneficial and well tolerated. However, it is also important to use behavioral and lifestyle interventions.

Typical treatment involves the following:

Lifestyle changesMedicationsAlternative and complementary therapies

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2014 -
  • Update Date: 09/17/2014 -
  • ADHD. American Academy of Pediatrics' Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/adhd/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed September 6, 2013.

  • ADHD. American Psychiatric Association website. Available at: http://www.psychiatry.org/adhd. Accessed September 6, 2013.

  • ADHD resource center. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry website. Available at: http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families%5Fand%5FYouth/Resource%5FCenters/ADHD%5FResource%5FCenter/Home.aspx. Updated July 2013. Accessed September 6, 2013.

  • AD/HD and kids. Mental Health America website. Available at: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/ad/hd/ad/hd-and-kids. Accessed September 6, 2013.

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 3, 2013. Accessed September 6, 2013.

  • Mikami AY, Cox DJ, et al. Sex differences in effectiveness of extended-release stimulant medication among adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2009;16(3):233-242. Epub 2009 May 6.