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Treatments for ADHD

natural and pharmaceutcial treatments for adhd Approximately two million children are estimated to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the USA, according to the National Mental Health Institute. Various treatment options exist to treat the symptoms of ADHD including pharmaceutical drugs, psychotherapy and alternative medicines.

Each child may respond to treatment differently so it's important for a medical professional to oversee the treatment process to ensure the treatment is working as planned. Often, treatments are done in combination with one another and will be modified as needed.

Using Medications to Control Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children

Pharmaceutical drugs are often prescribed to control ADHD symptoms. The most common prescribed drug is a stimulant which can calm ADHD children. The other type of drugs are non-stimulants, which work differently than stimulant drugs. A combination of different drugs is another option if using only one drug does not control the ADHD symptoms by itself.

Some ADHD drugs used to control symptoms are:

  • Adderall
  • Concerta
  • Dexedrine
  • Focalin
  • Ritalin
  • Strattera
Some of the medications used to control ADHD symptoms are long lasting (extended release) while others are short acting. Each medication has its own list of side effects which must be understood by the patient and caregiver. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires all manufacturers of ADHD drugs to provide a Patient Medication Guide to warn of possible side effects, including life threatening ones.

Psychotherapy for Treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms for Children

Behavioral therapy is an option to combat the symptoms of ADHD, by helping a child learn how to change their behavior. This type of therapy is done not only by a professional but also by caregivers and educators to help the child learn proper social skills, ways to deal with emotions and how to keep themselves organized.

Caregivers are often coached in certain areas like:

  • helping their child complete tasks by breaking them down and making them more manageable
  • setting limits on stimulating activities such as T.V watching, video game playing or the size of playgroups
  • using a rewards & consequences approach
  • applying stress management to ensure dealing with a child's behavior is done in a calm manner

Natural Alternative Remedies to Treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Kids

A newer trend in treating ADHD is via alternative remedies. While very few studies are conclusive on many alternative practices, they are still used by many to treat the symptoms of ADHD.

Various natural alternatives available include

  • Dietary Reductions:reducing and/or eliminating certain products that are suspected to cause disruptive behavior (such as milk, chocolate, eggs, artificial colorings, wheat)
  • Dietary Inclusions:increasing certain products suspected to aid in controlling ADHD symptoms (such as Zinc and Essential Fatty Acids)
  • Neurofeedback: a process in which a child learns to control his/her own brain wave activity
  • Musical Therapy: believed by some to improve attention, motor control & behavior
  • Non-Drug Therapy:Daily massage, meditation and relaxation therapy
  • Herbal Therapy: Use of herbal remedies & supplements

Treatments to Control Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

As Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is still relatively new to medical professionals, so are the solutions for treating it. What works for one individual may not work for someone else which can make it difficult to find a solution that works.

Caregivers should always contact a medical professional first to confirm their child has ADHD and to evaluate their child's overall health. From there, a caregiver will have the option of choosing to treat the ADHD with either pharmaceutical drugs, behavioral therapy, alternative remedies or even a combination of therapies.


The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.


National Institute of Mental Health. "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (accessed September 8, 2010).

University of Maryland Medical Center "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-Other Treatments" (accessed September 8, 2010).

ADHD Child. "ADHD Statistics" (accessed September 8, 2010).

Natural Treatments to Try for ADHD and ADD:

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