Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder that affects millions of children and adults in the United States.

It can cause problems with attention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity. There are medications available to treat ADHD symptoms, but they also have side effects that may be just as problematic as the symptoms they’re meant to treat. This article will explore the most common ADHD medication side effects and how to manage them.

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Differences between stimulant and non-stimulant medication

ADHD medications are typically divided into two categories: stimulants and non-stimulants.

Stimulants are drugs that increase activity in the central nervous system and cause increased alertness, reduced fatigue, and increased attention. They can effectively treat ADHD symptoms, but they often come with several side effects that make them difficult to manage.

Non-stimulants are also called atypical or non-stimulant medications because they affect different brain parts than stimulants. These drugs don’t typically produce the same results as stimulants, but they can still be effective in treating ADHD. Non-stimulant drugs are often used when someone cannot tolerate stimulants due to side effects or other medical conditions.

Side effects of stimulant ADHD medication

Stimulant medications include two main types of medication: methylphenidates and amphetamines.

Some of the common side effects of these types of medication include:

  • Sleep problems
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Dizziness and headaches
  • Stomachaches and nausea
  • Nausea and vomiting

Less common side effects include:

  • Tics or twitches
  • Personality changes

Side effects of non-stimulant ADHD medication

Non-stimulant medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include Strattera, Tenex, Intuniv, and Kapvay. These non-stimulants work differently than stimulants and may be a good option for patients who cannot take stimulants or need something to help them focus without feeling jittery.

Non-stimulant medications can cause similar side effects as stimulant medications. These side effects include nausea, stomachaches, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Though these medications do not cause the same agitation or nervousness as stimulants, they can make people tired or drowsy. They can also cause mood swings in some patients.

Ways to help ADHD medication side effects

There are many ways you can try and reduce the side effects of ADHD medication, whether that’s adjusting the medication itself, dosage, or timing. Here are some ways you can try to reduce your child’s side effects:

Sleeping problems

ADHD medications can cause sleep problems for children. Here are some tips for monitoring your child’s bedtime routine to help prevent these side effects:

  • Set a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends and holidays.
  • Make sure your child gets enough sleep every night
  • If you allow your child to stay up late, make sure he or she sleeps in the morning after waking up at an earlier time

Appetite problems

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you may wonder what to do about their appetite problems. Many children who take stimulant medications for ADHD have trouble eating. This is because stimulants can suppress appetite, so your child may not feel hungry at mealtimes.

You should encourage them to eat when they’re hungry and keep healthy snacks on hand. Extended-release versions of stimulant medications peak about four hours after they’re taken so children may not feel hungry at lunch if they take their medication right after breakfast. Adjusting the timing of the medication may also help this.

Nausea and headaches

One common side effect of ADHD medication is nausea. This can be a problem because it can make your child feel sick and cause him or her to lose their appetite during the day. If this happens, it could affect their ability to get proper nutrition and stay healthy while taking their medication.

Another common side effect is headaches. While these may only last a few weeks once the medication starts working properly, they can be uncomfortable for your child if he or she doesn’t have pain relief. There are ways to help minimize these symptoms. One way is by having your child take their medication with food so that it won’t upset their stomachs as much as if they took it on an empty stomach.

What to do if your child is experiencing side effects

If your child is experiencing side effects from ADHD medication, it’s important to let your doctor know. Side effects can include changes in personality or mood, and you’ll want your doctor to know if this happens so they can adjust the dosage or prescribe a different drug.

Additionally, it’s important to describe when the side effects occur and how intense they are. This will help your doctor determine whether the symptoms are caused by ADHD medications or something else entirely.

What causes the side effects of ADHD medication?

The body’s reaction to them causes side effects of ADHD medications, and it’s important to understand how they work.

ADHD medications balance dopamine and norepinephrine levels, neurotransmitters in the brain that help regulate attention. The goal is to help your child focus better so he or she can learn more easily at school.

Every child responds differently to different medications. Your doctor will help you determine what works best for your child (and you may need to try a few different options). Some children might need short-acting formulas (taken every four hours), while others may do better with long-acting formulas (taken once or twice daily).

What is the ‘rebound effect’?

The rebound effect is a side effect of ADHD medication. It occurs when the medication wears off, and the child becomes irritable and aggressive. This happens because the medication leaves receptors too quickly—it’s a way for the body to fight against being altered by an outside substance.

The good news is that there are ways to avoid or reduce rebound effects. For example, you can add a smaller dose about half an hour before it’s likely to happen. This way, you’ll know what your child needs and can give them just enough medication to prevent rebound effects from occurring. You can also ensure that you’re giving your child enough medication by checking in with their doctor regularly and adjusting their dosage as needed. Rebound could also be a sign of underlying problems such as anxiety or other mood issues when the child is off their ADHD medication. This is why it’s important to regularly monitor all medication with a doctor.