Non-Stimulant ADHD Medications
An ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) medications list can be divided into 4 basic types:
- Stimulant medication, e.g. Ritalin, Adderall and Vyvanse.
- Non-stimulant medication, e.g. Strattera and Intuniv.
- Antidepressants, e.g. Wellbutrin and Tofranil.
- Natural ADHD treatments, e.g. Attend, Extress and Memorin.
Only the last group, the natural supplements are free from side effects and do not cause sleep or appetite problems.
ADHD non-stimulant medication is an inexact science. We still do not know for sure how these powerful drugs work in the brain and in the body. Doctors use a trial and error method to find the optimal dosage. This can never be accurately predicted. Prescribing information given to doctors state the following, regarding the how these drugs work:
“The precise mechanism by which atomoxetine produces its therapeutic effects in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is unknown, but is thought to be related to selective inhibition of the pre-synaptic norepinephrine transporter, as determined in ex vivo uptake and neurotransmitter depletion studies.”
This example is taken from Eli Lilly’s Strattera Prescribing Information. It is similar with Intuniv, Wellbutrin, Tofranil, etc. under the headings “Pharmacodynamics,” or “Mechanism of Action.”
ADHD Non-Stimulant Medication: Pros and Cons
- They do help mask symptoms of inattention, or attention deficit, and hyperactivity for a few hours at a time for many patients, but not all.
- Children and adolescents with temper or anger problems, such as Opposition Defiance Disorder or Conduct Disorder do better on these drugs than on the stimulant drugs which make them more irritable and aggressive.
- If you are taking this and you do not have side effects and feel positive about taking them, then they might be just the answer for you.
- Most people who take these drugs do feel some side effects. Which side effects are felt depends on the drug’s interaction with your own metabolism.
- Because we have different biochemical profiles, it is impossible to know beforehand if these drugs will improve your condition and which, if any side effects you will experience.
- Long-term non-drug solutions are difficult to put in place if a person develops a psychological dependence to their prescribed drug.
- Strattera and Intuiv have not been on the market long enough for us to know the long-term effects.
Non-Stimulant ADHD Medication
Natural Remedies for ADHD
Natural homeopathic remedies do exist as viable alternatives to the
conventional stimulant and non-stimulant antidepressant type
medications. They vary in the formulations, but are natural products and
so have no side effects.
A person with ADHD symptoms generally has a different metabolism than the average person. We are all different without having disorders. Many studies show the positive benefits in treating attention deficit disorder symptoms with supplements, mainly omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and B vitamins. Some people are naturally slim while others are naturally stouter. A metabolism requiring more nutrients more frequently is not a disorder. If taking supplements eases the symptoms, that shows that those nutrients are needed.
These non-stimulant drugs take at least a week before any effect is felt, and between one and two months before feeling the full effect. Natural supplements are similar, products like Attend, Memorin, Extress and omega-3 fatty acids take 4 to 6 weeks before the full effect is felt. It is worth the wait, because the body’s biochemical balance is being restored.
Of the various formulations the one with most value for your money is also the one with the most all-round ADHD specific formulation. this is Attend for inattentive type attention deficit disorder symptoms. This supplement formula is as efficient in treating attention deficit as the best stimulant and non-stimulant medication, but without side effects or risk of overdosing.
Two other homeopathic treatment for ADHD supplements that fit well with Attend, are:
- Memorin which helps build the short-term memory which is the cause of the scatterbrained effect often accompanying ADHD and
- Extress which calms the hyperactivity.
While stimulant medication helps the ADHD child to focus and sit
calmly, there is an element of becoming compliant. The supplements
Attend, Memorin and Extress do the same for focus and calming
hyperactivity, but without taking the edge off the child’s vitality.
Medications have their place and are helpful for many people, however I
would always give a child a natural product before trying any
As a chemist and an adult with ADHD and having spent a lifetime without drugs, my advice is to try Attend, Memorin, Extress, an ADHD diet and a regular exercise program as the first options. If there are serious behavioral problems, not hyperactivity, but with rebellion and/or aggression, I would try the following:
- Talking to Toddlers an excellent empathic guide for parents with toddler troubles.
- Behavior problems in children from 2 to 12 years old.
- Teenagers with serious oppositional and defiant behavior.
With aggression, the stimulant medication, such as Adderall, Concerta, and Ritalin make the condition worse. Here non-stimulant medication and natural ADHD remedies or homeopathic treatment for ADHD together with behavioral interventions are the way to go.