Adult ADHD

Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Adult ADHD treatment

There are many ways to treat adult ADHD. Most people have heard of taking medication, but this is only one option. In fact, some people may not respond to medication and will need to pursue other options when it comes to treatment.

Common treatment options16 for ADHD include medication and therapy. Many adults find that a combination of treatment options work best. They may choose to take medication but also attend therapy and stress management, or they may decide to try cognitive behavioral therapy before medication. Each person must find the treatment method or combination of methods that will work best for them.

Medications for adult ADHD

Some medications commonly prescribed to manage the symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Stimulant medications: Scientists believe that stimulants boost the number of neurotransmitters in the brain, allowing it to work more efficiently. Stimulants generally begin to work quickly after being taken.

These medications are particularly helpful at reducing symptoms of hyperactivity and inattentiveness. However, they can decrease appetite, cause sleep problems, stomachaches, and headaches, and may raise agitation levels. They also wear off relatively quickly, making it difficult to consistently manage the symptoms of ADHD throughout the day.

  • Other medications: Other medications used to treat ADHD include atomoxetine (generic Strattera) and bupropion (generic Wellbutrin). While these may take several weeks to provide noticeable benefits, they can help improve the symptoms of ADHD like stimulants. They can work alongside stimulant medication or be given when stimulants did not work or caused side effects, or when patients cannot take stimulants for health reasons.

Adult ADHD medication

Your provider may prescribe the following medications for adult ADHD:

May be prescribed

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Therapy for adult ADHD

There are several types of therapy17 that many adult ADHD patients find useful in managing ADHD and its effects on day-to-day life. Behavioral therapy can help teach patients how to monitor their own behaviors and give themselves rewards for practicing healthy behaviors or coping mechanisms.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, in particular, teaches patients mindfulness and other techniques to help them monitor their own thoughts to improve concentration. Marriage counseling and group therapy can also help people whose ADHD is affecting their close relationships, while talk therapy can help people who struggle with depression and/or anxiety alongside (or because of) their ADHD.

Education and support for ADHD

Other methods used to manage the symptoms and difficulties of ADHD include:

  • Stress management education: As people with ADHD may have difficulty dealing with stress in healthy ways, stress management training can help them remain calm, even when their brains want to panic or overreact. These techniques can teach people with adult ADHD how to focus even when stress levels are high.
  • Support groups: Individuals with ADHD may feel alone in their condition, especially if they did not receive their diagnosis until later in life. Participating in a support group can show them that there are other people out there with the same struggles and can help them feel less alone. These groups usually teach mindfulness and stress management alongside allowing adults with ADHD to connect with each other and process the disorder together.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.