This will guide you to understand more about the Nonstimulant Therapy Side effects and specifications . It is a must know for ADHD patients to know everything about Nonstimulant Therapy .
Have you heard something like ADHD , then i am sure you would have also heard about Nonstimulant Therapy . But you may not be having a clarity about this so here we will focus to explain Nonstimulant Therapy Side effects and specifications.
Antidepressants !! Heard of these as the only way to help those suffering from certain conditions? Here is more about them.
The Stimulant medications are the first choice of doctors for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). in adults and children. Doctors preferred stimulant medication at first glance but now to avoid more side effects on treatment the preference is for ADHD specific non stimulants, blood pressure medications and Antidepressants. Non stimulant therapy is so far used to treat ADHD as an approved drug from FDA.
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a mental illness caused in children and teens which can continue to adulthood if untreated. Symptoms include uncontrolled impulses and unable to concentrate which leads to behavioral changes in school and social life. This disorder is usually diagnosed in the early years of schooling when the child is unable to pay attention. If this is continuing even after becoming an adult, then those kind of people has lot of issues in management. Relationships and self esteem are also affected.
ADHD Symptoms in Children can be divided into three categories as below
ADHD Symptoms in Adults has the below signs and symptoms.
As a person gets older / into adulthood, ADHD symptoms change which include:
These are the common symptoms of ADHD and in the few are very lesser known symptoms of ADHD.
Nonstimulant Therapy is a form of medicine for ADHD candidates who do not show any significant relief from their symptoms after treating them with relevant medicines or those who exhibit side effects or cannot tolerate effective doses of the medicines. It is used in treating children and teens diagnosed with ADHD, other co-existing medical conditions such as tic disorder. Tic disorder is an involuntary movement disorder which may or may not be seen in ADHA children.
This therapy uses pharmacological approach in dealing with ADHD. The commonly recommended medications for ADHD in non stimulant therapy are Atomoxetine, Clonidine, Guanfacine, and Bupropion. FDA has approved the first three drugs in non stimulant therapy and is second line drugs. Bupropion is not accepted by FDA. There are several studies supporting its use in ADHD, and is considered as third line drug.
These are the medicines specifically created to treat ADHD :
The non stimulants which are used to treat ADHD and many disorders are Atomoxetine (Strattera) Clonidine ER (Kapvay) and Guanfacine ER (Intuniv) etc., which are FDA approved.
Atomoxetine (Strattera)was the first FDA approved nonstimulant drug to treat ADHD. It is now used to treat both children and adults. This drug helps in boosting the presence of norephinephrine which is considered as an important chemical for the brain function. It helps ADHD patients to improve attention span and reduces impulsive behaviour associated with hyperactivity.
These are approved for ADHD in children ages 6 to 17 and also prescribes to adults. These have effect on certain receptors in the brain, which lowers distraction and improve attention and on working of memory and impulse control. The active ingredient of Intuniv is tenex.
Tenex is used primarily in the treatment of hypertension. This drug is also used in ADHD .
Another drug Kapvay which is used in ADHD has clonidine as active ingredient and is also used in controlling blood pressure by significantly reducing heart rate and blood pressure.
The nonstimulants have advantages over many stimulants used to treat ADHD viz.,below is the pros of Nonstimulants or advantages of nonstimulant therapy to treat ADHD.
These advantages of Nonstimulant therapy makes it as one of the preferred kind of ADHD treatments all over .
The non stimulant therapy is very effective in treating ADHD. They do have side effects like the stimulant medicines. These drugs take a few days before the body starts adjusting to it. These side effects can be seen when the child is taking medicines or even after the drug concentration weans off. The range of side effects of Nonstimulant Therapy experienced by the child varies from mild to severe effects which may be disturbing to the child.
The stimulant medications like Ritalin, Focalin, Vyvanse are effective in ADHD with a battery of side effects like tics, sleep related problems, weight loss due to decreased appetite, increased blood pressure, nervousness, anxiety, irritability and stomach related issues.
The non stimulant therapy using Strattera, Tenex, Intuniv, and Kapvay has proven benefits in ADHD. As every drug is known to have adverse effects so are these group of drugs. Nausea, weight loss due to associated decrease in appetite, easy fatigability, and drowsiness coupled with mood swings are commonly encountered with non stimulant therapy.
Sleeping problems due to Nonstimulant Therapy
Children with ADHD have a difficult time in falling asleep. To add to the problem, the Nonstimulant Therapy boosts the norepinephrine levels in the brain and increases the attention span and concentration, making it difficult for some children to fall asleep. It takes time for the child to get adjusted and may take as long as 4 to 6 weeks.
Eating problems due to Nonstimulant Therapy
The cons of Nonstimulant Therapy is that it causes severe eating problems in children which leads to significant weight loss in these children. The effect of the treatment sets in after 4 hours. If the child takes the tablet after a meal, the child would be feeling full. So the child will avoid next meal. Eating small quantities in short interval span should be encouraged to avoid weight loss during Nonstimulant Therapy .
Nausea and headache due to Nonstimulant Therapy
This is the most disturbing side effect in a child on non stimulant therapy. Over a long term it is known to change the child’s psychology and personality. There is a close relation between ADHD and depression. Hence it is very necessary to identify it early and describe it to the physician regarding how it happens and the intensity of it.
Anxiety due to Nonstimulant Therapy
ADHD makes a child anxious. This along with the non stimulant therapy can worsen the situation. It is necessary to taper the dose of the therapy or to change the drug to make the child feel better.
It is essential to bring these side effects to the notice of the treating physician.
The non stimulants are also have some potential side effects of their own on individuals.
The drug Atomoxetine, bearing the brand name Strattera is approved by the FDA. It is a non stimulant second line treatment for ADHD. It is not a substance of abuse. It acts by selectively inhibiting the re-uptake of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is an important chemical in the brain. This drug selectively boosts its content in the brain.
The action is long lasting. Atomoxetine takes about 6 weeks to reach its therapeutic level of effectiveness. It is found to be useful in lessening the impulsive behavior and increases the attention and concentration span. Thus it is effective in children with hyperactivity.
Recent guidelines in the management of ADHD have placed Atomoxetine as first line drug in the treatment of ADHD. This wonder drug has to its credit of being the first non stimulant drug to be included in the first line of management of ADHD.
Atomoxetine has brought relief to those parents who are worried about the drug being used for substance abuse.
The most common side effects of Atomoxetine (Strattera) are as follows:-
Other than these common side effects strattera has some less common side effects like.,
Here is the side effects of Clonidine ER(Kapvay)
The Common side effects of Guanfacine ER (Intuniv) are given as follows –
Rare and serious side effects include
If an individual has been presecribed a nonstimulant for ADHD, then here is the Tips and Precautions for Nonstimulant Therapy .
Non Stimulant therapy is approved by FDA for treatment of ADHD in both adults and children. The side effects are very less and are active only in sensitive patients. It is known to be harmless for patients who consume a balanced and nutritious diet.