Medicine and Health Sciences


Much debate exists over the proper course of treatment for individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate (e.g., Ritalin) and amphetamine (e.g., Adderall), have been shown to be effective in managing ADHD symptoms. More recently, non-stimulant medications, such as atomoxetine (e.g., Strattera), clonidine (e.g., Kapvay), and guanfacine (e.g., Intuniv), have provided a pharmacological alternative with potentially lesser side effects than stimulants. Behavioral therapies, like behavioral parent training, behavioral classroom management, and behavioral peer interventions, have shown long-term benefits for children with ADHD; however, the success of the short-term management of ADHD symptoms is not as substantial when compared with stimulant medications. Continued research suggests that combined treatment with active and intensive behavioral therapy and lower doses of stimulant medication may yield the highest ADHD treatment success rates. More evidence needs to be gathered to determine whether this is the optimal treatment plan.