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Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmentaldisorder. There are three major classifications of ADHD and they are as follows: predominantly inattentive presentation, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation, and combined presentation. While ADHD is typically referred to as a childhood disorder, this is somewhat of a misnomer as it often lasts into adulthood. ADHD may cause many problems that vary from person to person. ADHD can make it difficult to pay close attention, may cause impulsive behavior, and create a general sense of overstimulation/activity. While there is no definitive cause for ADHD, much research has been done and some studies point to interactions between genes as well as environmental and non-genetic factors. Other possible contributing factors are alcohol or drug use during pregnancy; smoking during pregnancy;
early exposure (youth) to potential environmental toxins such as lead; brain injuries; and low birth weight.

Potential Warning Signs of ADHD in Children

  • Misplacing Items
  • Forgetfulness
  • Daydreaming
  • Fidgeting
  • Unable to Sit Still
  • Careless Mistakes
  • Taking Excessive or Unnecessary Risks
  • Cannot Resist Temptations
  • Excessive Talking
  • Difficulty with Sharing or Following Rules
  • Difficulty Getting Along with Others

Treatment

There are several avenues for treatment of ADHD, in terms of medication, and they are as follows: stimulants, non-stimulants, and antidepressants.

Stimulants

While it may seem counterintuitive to provide stimulants to an already overactive child, research points to successes with stimulants due to their ability to enhance dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical that has a critical role in cognition and attention.

Non-stimulants

Certain non-stimulant medications, such as atomoxetine and guanfacine, may help to improve attention/focus and to control impulsive behaviors. Non-stimulant medications may be selected for those who have difficulty taking stimulants. Compounding pharmacists can also combine percentages of multiple medications based upon your doctor's direction. Combination medications sometimes allow for a more direct approach to combating ADHD symptoms.

Antidepressants

Some doctors may recommend antidepressants. While not approved by the FDA specifically for ADHD treatment, antidepressants are sometimes prescribed for adults who suffer with the disorder. Specifically, tricyclic antidepressants have an impact on norepinephrine and dopamine.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you or someone you care for exhibits any of the aforementioned signs of ADHD, or other behaviors that could be ADHD related, see your doctor to discuss all your options for treatment. If you have specific questions regarding ADHD medications, contact your compounding pharmacist for more information.

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