Adult ADHD – One of My Specialties
What can we typically expect with treating adult ADHD? This illness is often very responsive to medication and patients will often feel the effects within hours of the first treatment. What I generally see from a clinical point of view is that people get started on a stimulant and they notice immediate results.
With followup sessions I monitor their symptoms and if need be a medication increase or decrease is made. I find that if the dose of the stimulant is too high the symptoms revert back to the pre-medication state. Side effects usually consist of a little bit of insomnia and a mild increases in anxiety which generally resolve within the first few weeks of treatment. The other side effects that tend to be more chronic in nature include decreased appetite and an upset stomach. Most people tolerate the stimulants very well. As a cautionary note people with unstable heart conditions shouldn’t take stimulants due to the risk albeit rare of sudden death which is almost always associated with these heart patients. Those with a familial history of facial tics should not take stimulants either since there is an increased risk of facial tics with this medication. Also people with moderate to severe untreated hypertension should not take stimulants due to the risk the stimulants increasing their blood pressure. We generally try to avoid giving stimulants to people who have a history of drug dependence because the stimulants are potentially addictive. Patients without a history of addiction don’t tend to get addicted to these medications. The benefits of the medications used to treat ADHD far outweigh the possible addiction.
Treating ADHD with Medication and Psychotherapy
If a patient is started on a non-stimulant medication such as Strattera or an antidepressant medication, it will take longer for them to see results. It will take more along the lines of about one month to see the full effect from the medication. Sometimes during the initiation of the medication, a medication increase or decrease may be warranted. Some people have an upset stomach with this medication, heart palpitations or an increased blood pressure.
A new medication for Adult ADHD treatment that has already acquired FDA approval for the treatment of ADHD in children and already has FDA approval for treatment of hypertension in adults which shows great promise in also treating ADHD in adults. This medication is called Intuniv and takes about two weeks to show its full effect. Some people get a little sedated from this one. This side effect generally resolves within the first few weeks of treatment. Otherwise, this medication is fairly well tolerated. ADHD is very treatable and I love treating adult ADHD; especially since the positive effects of the treatment are patently evident is such a sort period of time. If you think that you may have Adult ADHD and are looking for a Scottsdale psychiatrist please call me to schedule an initial evaluation, please contact me through this website or call my office to schedule an appointment.