ADHD: Treatment with medications

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Find out how medications can work with behavioural treatment to help a child with ADHD symptoms.

Key points

  • Medications work well to treat the core symptoms of ADHD but work best with behavioural treatments for any related emotional, learning or behavioural issues.
  • In most cases, ADHD is treated with stimulants. A common, mild side effect is a decreased appetite at lunchtime, followed by irritability when the medication 'wears off' after school. This side effect commonly responds to a favourite snack after school. Less often, there may be difficulty falling asleep when the medication is first started.
  • Serious side effects are extremely uncommon. These medications, when prescribed appropriately, are very safe.
  • Your child will be prescribed a low dose of medication that their health-care provider will monitor and adjust over time to make sure it continues working.
Last updated: February 20th 2024