Treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Treatment given to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can help reduce the symptoms and severity of the condition. ADHD can be treated using medicine or therapy. However, a combination of both is considered the best.

Treatment is generally given by a specialist, such as a pediatrician or a psychiatrist, although the condition may be monitored by a GP.


The drugs used to treat ADHD must be approved. Generally, 5 types of drugs are approved, they include:

  • Methylphenidate
  • Lisdexamfetamine
  • Dexamfetamine
  • Atomoxetine
  • Guanfacine

These drugs cannot permanently cure ADHD but they can help people with the condition concentrate better, be less impulsive, feel calmer, and learn and practice new skills. Some medications need to be taken every day, but some can be taken just on school days. Treatment breaks are usually suggested to observe the effect of the drugs and to know if they are still required.

If you were not diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood, a GP and specialist can choose which medicines and therapies are best for you. Initially, these drugs are taken in small doses, which may then be gently increased. You must see a GP for frequent check-ups to ensure the treatment is working properly and to observe any side effects or issues. The GP should know about any potential problems and speak to them if you observe any changes during treatment.

Your specialist will tell you how long you should take your treatment. In some cases, treatment is done for as long as possible.