ADHD Medications

ADHD Medications for Adults: Stimulants and Non-Stimulants

ADHD Medications

Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder (ADHD) was once known as a diagnosis for wiggly children in a classroom. Today, however, it’s almost just as common for doctors to make an ADHD diagnosis in adults. In fact, a 2012 report states that 50 percent more adults were taking ADHD drugs in 2012 as compared to four years previously.

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Reasons for the Rise in Adult ADHD Diagnosis

Many adults are finally experiencing success after years of not understanding why they could not seem to do certain things or be as successful as those around them. Some of the reasons for adult diagnosis include:

  • Parents of ADHD Children

An ADHD diagnosis is also much more common for children today than it was even ten years ago. This means parents are becoming more educated about the signs and symptoms of ADHD.

This leads some adults to a realization that not only did they experience the same symptoms as a child but are still experiencing them as an adult.

Many adults who find themselves in this type of situation wonder if ADHD prescription drugs might help them live a more successful or productive life.

  • Availability of Pre-Assessment Materials Online

The internet is also much more advanced today than it was even ten years ago. And though we have all been warned about googling medical symptoms, most do it anyway. Adults who wonder if they may have ADHD symptoms need only run a quick Google search to find a pre-assessment screening.

This is far more beneficial than spending hours wondering if anything can be done.

ADHD Stimulants

Common ADHD Stimulants

  • Lack of Hyperactivity

Historically, ADHD has been known as the “hyper kid’s diagnosis”. This means that those children who showed no signs of hyperactivity often went undiagnosed. Today, however, medical professionals realize that many children do not show signs of hyperactivity, instead of seeming bored, withdrawn, or prone to daydreaming.

Adults who realize they may have ADHD even though they were never hyperactive children may choose to see a medical professional for testing and possible diagnosis.

  • Girls vs. Boys

Once again, the stereotypical ADHD behavior has always contained impulsiveness, hyperactivity, lack of physical boundaries, and a marked lack of focus. Girls, however, do not frequently present with these indicators.

Instead, girls with ADHD seem to be withdrawn, suffer from low self-esteem and anxiety, have difficulty with school work, and are more verbally aggressive.

Once again, adult women who come across information about the indicators of ADHD in female children frequently opt for testing and diagnosis in their adult years.

  • Online Forums

The ability to share information online has increased so rapidly over the last 10 years that older generations have had some trouble understanding the ways information can be gained, much less accessing it.

Many online chats, blogs, and forums today are full of adults who are trying to understand themselves just a bit better. A frequent occurrence for adults, who realize they might have had ADHD their entire lives, is the feeling of jaw-dropping recognition.

A feeling that they may have spent an entire life feeling lazy, unorganized, and incapable when all along, ADHD may be to blame.

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ADHD Prescription Medication

ADHD prescription medications fall into two different categories, stimulant, and non-stimulant. The larger stimulant category of medications works by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. Stimulant medication is effective for 70–80 percent of individuals.

Non-stimulant medications target norepinephrine in the brain and help with emotional control and the ability to start and finish tasks.

This type of medication is typically recommended if there are adverse side effects to stimulant medication, such as an increase in anxiety, weight loss, or trouble sleeping.

Some non-stimulant ADHD medications include:

  • Atomoxetine (Strattera)
  • Guanfacine (Intuniv)
  • Clonidine (Kapvay)

There are not many forms of medication that are watched quite as closely as ADHD prescription medications. This is due to the fact that most are stimulants and ADHD stimulants can be very addictive.

ADHD Medication for Adults

Non- Stimulant ADHD Medication

Some of the medications in this stimulant category include:

Working with a medical professional for proper diagnosis, then finding out which type of prescription helps your ADHD symptoms the most will help combat addiction and improper use.

Benefits of Adult Diagnosis

Though some would argue that there is little or no need for adult ADHD diagnosis or stimulant use, the benefits for those who may have spent a lifetime trying to battle the signs of ADHD can be life-changing.

It takes only a brief look at the top indicators of ADHD in adults to realize how difficult life can be for those who go undiagnosed into adulthood.

These indicators include poor organizational skills, reckless driving habits, abnormally high levels of distractibility, inability to listen and recall information, marital trouble, frequent anger, lack of impulse control, lateness, and extreme difficulty starting tasks.

In essence, an adult with undiagnosed ADHD has a much higher chance of job loss, divorce, car accidents, and even imprisonment. For many, diagnosis and prescription for ADHD medication might be a whole new beginning.

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Where to get an Adult ADHD Diagnosis

There should be no fear or shame for adults who think they may be suffering from ADHD symptoms.

Typically, there is an initial meeting with a medical professional, which would include an overall physical to get some indicators of overall health, and clinical testing would take place.

Doctors at EZCare Clinic in San Francisco use up-to-date diagnostic techniques to find out if this diagnosis is right for each individual patient.

And in the event that a patient’s guess was right, and they are diagnosed as an adult with ADHD, then ADHD prescriptions might be prescribed.

At EZCare Clinic in San Francisco, our doctors can diagnose and treat ADHD in adults, and help establish a treatment plan that could include ADHD prescription medications. Patients can call or schedule an appointment online.


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Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.