Attention Deficit Order, Non-Stimulant Medication

Attention Deficit Order Medication The Non-Stimulants

Often the only way to obtain attention deficit order when you have ADHD or Inattentive ADD is through the use of medication.  The stimulants are the 'gold standard' of treatment but for reasons discussed earlier, these do not always bring Attention Deficit Order.   For people whose Attention Deficit Disorder is worsened by the stimulants, non-stimulant medication or a combination of ADHD medication  may be their 'Attention Deficit Order' answer.

The medicines that are combined with the stimulants or used alone to treat ADHD and Inattentive ADD that are non-stimulants are Atomoxetine, Guanfacine, Clonidine and anti-depressant medication.  I will discuss each of these individually.

Non-stimulant ADHD and Inattentive ADD Medication : Atomoxetine or Strattera

Another non-stimulant ADHD, Inattentive ADD medication is Atomoxetine or Strattera. Strattera work similarly to the stimulants on the PFC but may have a preferential action on the norepinephrine, PFC receptors. The chemistry of neurotransmitter action in the PFC is such that you cannot act on one neurotransmitter without producing an effect on the others so it is thought that Strattera acts indirectly, on dopamine as well as on norepinephrine.

The stimulant ‘s action on PFC neurotransmitter is thought to be greater and more effective than Atomoxetine’s action but the advantages of Atomoxetine includes the fact that it is not a controlled substance and , like the extended release Guanfacine and Clonidine, this drug can be used as treatment for people with substance abuse problems. Strattera can also be used in people with Tic disorders and in ADHD patients that have sleep disturbances.

Strattera is well tolerated and has been found to be as effective as regular release Ritalin or Adderall though it has been found to be less effective than the extended release stimulants for control of ADHD symptoms. People who have never been on a stimulant report a better ADHD symptoms response from Strattera than people previously tried on a stimulant.

Physicians report that Strattera is also effective for the treatment of ADHD symptoms not adequately controlled on stimulants alone. Combined stimulant/Strattera treatments have been found in reports to be useful for the treatment of:

· ADHD with Oppositional Symptoms.
· ADHD with Anxiety worsened by high dose stimulants.
· Inattention not controlled with low dose stimulants.
· Combined type symptoms inadequately controlled on the highest stimulant dose.

Strattera has been found to be generally well tolerated and few patients have to stop the medication because of side effects. The most common side effect experienced by people treated with Strattera include headaches, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, sleepiness and nausea and vomiting but these side effects are usually mild and decrease or go away completely over a short period of time.

There is a suicide black-box warning on the prescribing information for Strattera because the use of this drug has been found to be associated with an increased risk of suicidal thoughts. Needless to say, ADHD patients teated with Strattera must be monitored closely for risks of suicide.

Attention Deficit Order and Guanfacine and Clonidine (Intuniv and Tenex) for Inattentive ADD and ADHD

Extended release Guanfacine and extended release Clonidine are a family of medicine that have been found to work on the PFC to improve attention and to improve behavior. The attention and behavioral effects are not as pronounced, for the majority of people treated, as the effects seen with stimulant treatment but Tenex and Intuniv bring about significant symptom improvement in many people with ADHD.

These medicines were originally prescribed to control blood pressure and were later found to help the symptoms of ADHD. This class of medicine can be used alone to treat ADHD symptoms but they can also be used in combination with the stimulants to enhance and improve neurotransmitter action in the PFC.

Animal studies have shown that the stimulants and extended release Guanfacine/Clonidine have different but complimentary mechanisms of action on the PFC neurotransmitters. Because of this complimentary action, they can be combined for the treatment of ADHD symptoms in people who do not respond to either medication alone.

Most people treated with Guanfacine/Clonidine experience sleepiness when they first take this medication but it can be taken at night and has been found especially useful for the treatment of adults and children with ADHD related sleep disorders. The only other common side effect of this class of medication is heart rate slowing but this side effect is usually mild and rarely causes patients to stop this medication.

Extended release Guanfacine/Clonidine alone or in combination with stimulant therapy has been reported to help:

· Impulsive Behavior
· Opposition Behavior
· ADHD Sleep Onset Disorder
· Inattention

Antidepressants, Inattentive ADD, ADHD &Attention Deficit Order

Antidepressants such as Paxil and Wellbutrin are also frequently combined with the stimulants to treat co-existing depression or other ADHD co-problems. These drugs have been found to be very useful in combination with ADHD stimulants therapy to treat co-existing depression but these medications must also be used with care as they too carry black box warnings because of increased suicidal thoughts.

Combining Medicines for Inattentive ADD, ADHD & Attention Deficit Order

Though the use of the combinations of ADHD medications is common, these combinations have not been studied and the safety of using combination medications to treat ADHD in not known. Physicians use combinations of drugs or drug cocktails to treat many different type of conditions and the majority of these cocktails are safe but parents and patients need to be aware that, as of yet, studies have not been performed establishing safe dosing limits on these combinations.

Sometimes the nature of the ADHD problem warrants the use of combination medications despite the potential for safety risks. The decision to use a combination of medication must be carefully made and must be based on every person’s individual circumstances.

Attention Deficit Order, Inattentive ADD, ADHD Medication Conclusion

Bringing Attention Deficit Order into the lives of people with ADHD sometimes requires one medication or a combination of more than one medication. These medications act on the PFC to improve attention, behavior and emotional control. It is the lack of control over these symptoms that causes Attention Deficit Dis-order.
Other treatment methods such as diet, exercise, sleep improvement, stress control, behavioral therapy, brain training and vitamin therapy may improve PFC function and the inattention, behavioral and emotional problems of ADHD but for some people the best or only road to Attention deficit Order is individual or combination ADHD medication treatment.

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