Treatment Guidelines from The Medical Letter
Drugs for Treatment of ADHD
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Revised 4/1/14: The Daily Adult Dosages for Focalin and generic methylphenidate in Table 1 have been updated.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disruptive behavior disorder that occurs in about 5% of school-age children, most often in boys, and frequently persists into young adulthood.1,2

The drugs approved for treatment of ADHD by the FDA are listed in Table 1 on page 24. Except for atomoxetine, guanfacine and clonidine, they are all stimulants and are classified as Schedule II controlled substances by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). They are all approved for use in school-age children and adolescents, and most are approved for use in adults as well.

Professional medical associations such as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have recommended trying other treatments in children less than 6 years old, such as an effective form of parent training, before resorting to stimulants. Stimulants can cause irritability and social withdrawal ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

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