The FDA has approved two types of medications—stimulants and non-stimulants—to help youngsters as young as six years old minimize the symptoms of ADHD and enhance their functioning. Despite their name, stimulants, which contain various kinds of methylphenidate and amphetamine, actually have a soothing impact on hyperactive children with ADHD, according to Farchione. They're thought to boost dopamine levels in the brain, which are linked to motivation, attention, and movement.

Strattera (atomoxetine), Intuniv (guanfacine), and Kapvay are three non-stimulants that have been approved by the FDA to treat the symptoms of ADHD (clonidine). These are a good alternative for kids who don't do well with stimulants. Consult your doctor to determine which medications are appropriate for your child. Some children with ADHD undergo behavioral therapy in addition to medication to assist manage symptoms and provide additional coping skills. Concerned parents can also seek information and help from their children's schools and neighborhood support groups on how to deal with ADHD behavior. "When addressing the disorder, it's helpful to engage with the various folks that are involved in a child's life," Farchione explains.

Medication Effects on Children of a Younger Age

Current FDA-approved drugs have been studied for safety and effectiveness in clinical trials including children aged 6 and up. However, once a medicine has been licensed and placed on the market, the FDA is now requesting clinical trials with children as young as 4 and 5.

"We know that ADHD drugs are being prescribed for younger children, and we believe it's critical that clinical study findings reflect the safety and effectiveness for this age range," Farchione says.

ADHD can have devastating repercussions if left untreated. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, a child may fall behind in school, have friendship problems, and have disagreements with their parents.

According to studies, children with untreated ADHD visit the emergency room more frequently and are more likely to injure themselves than those who are treated for the illness. Adolescents with ADHD who are not treated are more prone to engage in risky behaviors such as drinking and driving. They also had twice as many car accidents as individuals who receive treatment.

Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

According to studies, roughly 4% of adults may have ADHD. The symptoms in adults are similar to those in children, however they may manifest differently. Adults with ADHD may struggle with time management and multitasking, become agitated when they have free time, and avoid activities that demand prolonged concentration.

Only when it's established that some of the symptoms were present early in childhood, usually before the age of seven, is an adult diagnosed with ADHD.

"A diagnosis of ADHD can provide respite for some individuals," adds Farchione. Adults can better understand the causes of their issues after receiving a diagnosis, and treatment can help them deal with challenges more successfully.