Medication can be one of the most confusing aspects or considerations for someone with ADD/ADHD otherwise known as attention deficit disorder. ADD is essentially a neurobiological disorder and needs to be treated as one. I have done play therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy with children who suffer from this disorder and found it to be minimally effective in many cases. In many cases, the children I worked with were placed on medication and the difference was beyond compare. Although I am not proposing everyone with this disorder should take medication, I am proposing that it should be considered and monitored by the spparopriate professional such as a school psychologist. The goals of medication are as follows:

-increase attention span and learning
-decrease distractibility
-decrease restlessness
-decrease impulsivity
-decrease irritability
-increase motivation
-overall improve functioning in all areas of life

The literature shows generally four classes of medication:

-Stimulants
-Ritalin
-Dexedrine
-Cylert

-Tricyclic Antidepressants
-Norpramin
-Tofranil
-Elavil
-Pamelor
-Anafranil

-Antiobsessive Medications
-Prozac
-Anafranil
-Zoloft
-Paxil

There is much confusion about Prozac although the literature reports it to be very safe medication with few side effects. It appears that some people may become more irritable or more depressed although they are in a limited number.

-Anticonvulsants
-Tegretol
-Depakene

As previosly mentioned, a monitor of the medication is absolutely necessary in order to determine the results and study possible side effects. With a child in school this can be done by the school psychologist. With an adult this can be done by a professional in addition to the physician. The physician should see a patient on medication every few weeks to check on side effects, weight gain, and any other issues which may arise. Some of the aforementioned medications such as Cylert reuire blood work for liver function before starting and every couple of weeks thereafter. When I functioned as a school psychologist before I became a coach, I would ask teachers to fill out a follow-u rating scale so I could study the effectiveness of the medication. There are many common side effects a physician may look for. Some of those include: -lack of appetite
-sleep problems
-headaches
-stomach problems
-irritability
The bottom line is that the side effect of having untreated ADD are immesaurably worse than those caused by the medication.

Another cosideration with medication is that of interaction. It is a good idea to check with your doctor before mixing any prescription medications. Many people with ADD can become cranky or more hyperactive on antihistamines such as Benadryl. Everyone is different so it is important to let your doctor know what medications you take regularly before you are treated with medication for ADD. Coach Rosa,MA,LMLP-rainbows@grapevine.net www.overtherainbowcoach.com www.coachingrelationships4u.net

Author's Bio: 

Coach Rosa is a relationship and diagnostic coach with a masters degree in clinical psychology and 10 years experience testing and counseling in the schools and treating children and adults with ADD/ADHD. Coach Rosa is a faculty member at WomensU, offers free teleclasses at teleclass.com, tapes, and tests on her website. Go see for yourself at: www.overtherainbowcoach.com  and www.coachingrelationships4u.net  Coach Rosa is a relationship and diagnostic coach with a masters degree in clinical psychology
and 10 years experience testing and counseling in the schools and treating children and adults with ADD/ADHD. Coach Rosa is a faculty member at WomensU, offers free teleclasses at teleclass.com, tapes, and tests on her website. Go see for yourself at: www.overtherainbowcoach.com  and www.coachingrelationships4u.net