A discussion on whether stimulants should be prescribed for adhd children

U S parents and teachers have reported epidemic levels of children with trouble focusing.

A discussion on whether stimulants should be prescribed for adhd children

So why do doctors give stimulants to kids with ADHD? It seems so counter-intuitive. A quick internet search will give you the medical explanation that ADHD stimulant medications increase dopamine and norepinepherine neurotransmitters in the brain and also increase blood flow to the brain.

While this is true, this explanation still leaves many parents confused as to why stimulants work. As a pediatrician and a parent, I would like to offer another way of thinking about this paradox.

Kids with ADHD are constantly self-stimulating. Their thought processes are non-linear.

- The Washington Post

They talk while brushing their teeth and wiggling their foot at the same time. They seem to do everything except follow directions. When you give a stimulant to such a child, they no longer have such an urgent need to self-stimulate.

Non-medication stimulants also work, although for limited amounts of time. If you give an ADHD child a lollypop, which provides oral stimulation, they are more likely to listen and follow directions.

ADHD kids usually have no problem paying attention to video games, which provide constant visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation. Reading books and following directions, however, are not stimulating activities. ADHD kids will try to get through these experiences by self-stimulating through wiggling, talking, etc.

Introduction

If you give them a stimulant medication, they no longer have the need to self-stimulate. According to a recent survey by the Center for Disease Control, nearly 1 in 10 U.

A discussion on whether stimulants should be prescribed for adhd children

About two thirds of these children take a medication. Many parents are hesitant to give their children a stimulant medication. In part because of this parental resistance to stimulant medications, drug companies are now marketing new non-stimulant drugs for ADHD, including Straterra and Intuniv.

These drugs are heavily marketed with a stress on the fact that they are non-stimulants. They are also appropriate for patients with certain types of heart disease that cannot take stimulant medications. Yet, there is a reason why the vast majority of ADHD medications are stimulants—they work.

Summary of the Evidence

As a pediatrician, I do not feel that non-stimulant medications for ADHD have been in use long enough to really show their long-term efficacy. Many of these drugs are mild sedatives.

It is my best medical opinion that sedating medications may meet the needs of teachers and parents more than the needs of the child.

A discussion on whether stimulants should be prescribed for adhd children

These medications may keep kids from having hyperactivity in the home and classroom, but do they really help kids learn?Most children and adults who take stimulants to treat ADHD respond well to the medications.

WebMD provides an overview of the types of stimulants available to .

The question of whether or not stimulants should be prescribed for adhd children

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Whether you’re starting ADHD medication for the first time, or switching to a new medication, your doctor should always have a plan for assessing and optimizing the prescription’s effectiveness. Doctors vary on this, so ask your provider what schedule he or she prefers for follow-up appointments.

Jul 23,  · Prescription stimulant use in ADHD.

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It is estimated that about two-thirds of the children diagnosed with ADHD receive pharmacological treatment (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ) and the majority of medications used are stimulants (Center for Disease Control and Prevention b).The prescribed use of stimulant medications to treat ADHD in children age 18 and younger .

Apr 16,  · Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum. We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum. ADHD Medication and Children Essay Words 6 Pages Not being able to keep still, talking out of turn, and not being able to resist temptation are many traits of a child under the age of twelve; also, the symptoms of a child diagnosed with ADHD.

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