21 doctors weighed in:

Should I start medications for adhd?

21 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alfredo Soto
Psychiatry
6 doctors agree

In brief: Depends

The first thing to do is make sure a good evaluation is done by someone with expertise in the diagnosis, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist or a primary care provider with experience.
Then, if the symptoms are mild they can respond to psychosocial interventions, such as sitting in front of the class or creating better structure in life. However, medications work very well and are very safe.

In brief: Depends

The first thing to do is make sure a good evaluation is done by someone with expertise in the diagnosis, such as a psychologist, psychiatrist or a primary care provider with experience.
Then, if the symptoms are mild they can respond to psychosocial interventions, such as sitting in front of the class or creating better structure in life. However, medications work very well and are very safe.
Dr. Alfredo Soto
Dr. Alfredo Soto
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3 comments
Dr. Alfredo Soto
By the way, contrary to some of the colleagues posted below, there is no evidence that "allergies", nutritional deficiencies or dietary changes help symptoms of ADHD. Only certain conditions, like lead poisoning or fetal alcohol syndrome can cause symptoms of ADHD, but most are caused by genetics
Dr. Bryan Levey
Actually, there is. Lots of it, and experience bears it out. See the article published in The Lancet by Dr Pelsser last spring.
3 doctors agree

In brief: Maybe

See your doctor and discuss it.
Medications alone are not the answer to adhd. Most people also need school interventions (to help them learn organization skills), psychotherapy (to help with frustration and self-esteem), and on-going support from the family. Medicines are wonderful things and they do help people with adhd, but they aren't magic. It's a combination of treatments that helps the most.

In brief: Maybe

See your doctor and discuss it.
Medications alone are not the answer to adhd. Most people also need school interventions (to help them learn organization skills), psychotherapy (to help with frustration and self-esteem), and on-going support from the family. Medicines are wonderful things and they do help people with adhd, but they aren't magic. It's a combination of treatments that helps the most.
Dr. CHERYL COLDWATER
Dr. CHERYL COLDWATER
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Dr. Mary Ann Block
General Practice
3 doctors agree

In brief: No

Find a doctor who will do a thorough medical and educational evaluation to find the underlying cause of the adhd symptoms, such as allergies, nutritional deficiencies, diet and learning problems.

In brief: No

Find a doctor who will do a thorough medical and educational evaluation to find the underlying cause of the adhd symptoms, such as allergies, nutritional deficiencies, diet and learning problems.
Dr. Mary Ann Block
Dr. Mary Ann Block
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2 comments
Dr. Alfredo Soto
The vast majority of individuals who suffer from ADHD develop it from a genetic trait. There is NO evidence in the literature or any expert's experience that treating allergies or nutritional deficiencies address primary symptoms of ADHD. If your doctor did a comprehensive evaluation and determined you have ADHD, stimulants are very safe treatments at all ages for those symptoms.
Dr. Mary Ann Block
There is so much evidence in the medical literature that diet, allergies, nutritional deficiencies and other medical problems cause the symptoms we call ADHD. These articles are referenced in my book, No More ADHD. It the past few years there are many studies related to fish oil for ADHD symptoms. There is now an FDA approved drug for ADHD that is fish oil.
Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Not as a first choic

I'd first make sure he/she has adhd.
Secondly, try to identify possible causes/contributors. Secondly, try to enroll him/her with behavioral therapy. Work with teachers at school. If it's mild, try to get by without medication. If it's severe, resistant to counseling, may need to recur to medication.

In brief: Not as a first choic

I'd first make sure he/she has adhd.
Secondly, try to identify possible causes/contributors. Secondly, try to enroll him/her with behavioral therapy. Work with teachers at school. If it's mild, try to get by without medication. If it's severe, resistant to counseling, may need to recur to medication.
Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
Dr. Pavel Conovalciuc
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1 comment
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Counseling or educational interventions alone have been shown ineffective in mitigating the chronic consequences of ADHD. If it's really ADHD, medications should be used. see http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/10/14/peds.2011-2654.full.pdf
Dr. Andres R Villar
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: A proper diagnosis

Before you take that step, make sure your child has received a proper assessment by a professional who is well trained in adhd.
Young children, those with mild symptoms or children's whose parents do not wish to start meds...Parenting, behavioral interventions, and neurofeedback are adequate choices.Medications are usually safe if used and monitored properly, and usually the recommended first choice.

In brief: A proper diagnosis

Before you take that step, make sure your child has received a proper assessment by a professional who is well trained in adhd.
Young children, those with mild symptoms or children's whose parents do not wish to start meds...Parenting, behavioral interventions, and neurofeedback are adequate choices.Medications are usually safe if used and monitored properly, and usually the recommended first choice.
Dr. Andres R Villar
Dr. Andres R Villar
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Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Its the first choice

The american academy of pediatrics just published its practice guidelines update for treatment of adhd in children & adolescents.
Since treatments are safe & very effective, withholding them is akin to malpractice. The longer one waits to treat adhd, the higher the risk of persistence into adulthood, drug/alcohol abuse, academic failure, motor vehicle accidents & personal/financial mismanagement.

In brief: Its the first choice

The american academy of pediatrics just published its practice guidelines update for treatment of adhd in children & adolescents.
Since treatments are safe & very effective, withholding them is akin to malpractice. The longer one waits to treat adhd, the higher the risk of persistence into adulthood, drug/alcohol abuse, academic failure, motor vehicle accidents & personal/financial mismanagement.
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Dr. Carla Enriquez
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1 comment
Dr. Carla Enriquez
see my Health Guides and answer to Dr Conovalciuc below.
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