ADHD is very prevalent amongst Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that this condition affects approximately 11% of children and 4% of adults. Many adults may not know that they have ADHD, as they might never have been diagnosed with the condition as a child. On top of that, many people are hesitant to get diagnosed for ADHD due to the negative stigma that surrounds it. However, if you constantly have trouble concentrating, can never get tasks done on time, feel like your mind wanders, and suspect that you suffer from other symptoms of ADHD, getting diagnosed by a primary-care physician is the best thing you can do for yourself. Medications will be prescribed to treat the condition; however, the dosage of the medications prescribed may need to be tweaked to become compatible with your body chemistry. Here are 3 medication effects you should take note of.

Effectiveness and Longevity of the Medication in Managing Symptoms

There are many different types of medications that are commonly prescribed to treat ADHD. Common medications include methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, mixed amphetamines, atomexetine, buproprion and alpha-2 agonists. All of these medications work in unique ways to help you manage ADHD symptoms. Your mind should clear upon taking the medication, and you should be able to concentrate and focus once again. The dosage of the medication that is most suited for your body will depend on the type of medication that is prescribed, your age, your size, and more. There's a huge range. For example, the starting dose for methylphenidate in young children is 5mg twice daily; however, the maximum daily dose that can be prescribed can reach up to 60mg.

Keep a diary or record book of how effective the medication is, as well as the longevity of the effects. Take note of the time when you took the medication and when you started to feel an effect. It's important to also note how long the effect lasted. If the effect is not long-lasting or does not last you until your next dose, your primary-care physician may recommend upping your dosage.

Impact on Mood, Sleep, and Appetite

When balancing your brain chemistry, ADHD medications have also been known to sway other hormones. In particular, ADHD medications have been known to cause mood swings, loss of appetite and sleep problems. Although the medications may appear effective once they have been taken, they may be quietly affecting other areas of your life. To find a correlation as to how the medications may be affecting you, keep a record of your mood, quality and length of sleep, and appetite daily. You want to note any changes you witness before taking the medications and once the medications have been taken.

These records can help a primary care physician determine whether they should change the dosage that they prescribed or whether they should recommend that you try another type of medication. For example, if you were prescribed methylphenidate previously, your physician might want you to try dextroamphetamine next in the event that you witness a drastic loss of appetite. Keep in mind that there are many different types of methylphenidate that you can try out as well. Some medications will have less or no impact on your mood, sleep, and appetite.

Presence of Any Negative Side Effects

Specific medications have been associated with some negative side effects. These side effects tend to be rather rare and will not affect most patients. Still, you need to be on the lookout for them just in case you're one of the unlucky few. For example, some of the less-common side effects of taking Ritalin include nausea, scalp hair loss, and muscle aches. If you experience these side effects, your physician might want to either switch you to another medication or lower your dosage.

Keeping a record of when you experience these negative side effects can also give your physician some insight as to how your body works. Keep track of the severity of the negative side effects and the length of time it takes for these side effects to appear after taking the medications prescribed.


Treating symptoms of ADHD is not as easy as it looks. As everyone's brain chemistry is relatively different and unique, your physician might need to spend some time tweaking the dosage prescribed or switching you a different medication in order to find out what works for you. Click here to investigate more.