Side Effects of ADHD Medication

Adverse ADHD Effects Children with ADHD may benefit from stimulant medications; however, some may experience adverse side effects.

In most cases, adverse effects associated with ADHD medication indicate that the child is not adhering to the prescribed treatment regimen, isingstakenly ingesting the medication insufficiently or excessively rapidly, or is not responding to the prescribed dosage.

Changing the dosage or composition of a medication can frequently mitigate or eradicate adverse effects. However, should they persist in causing complications for your child, your physician will explore alternative avenues.

Common ADHD medication side effects and solutions include:

Sleep problems::

These may improve over time, and specific medications may prove beneficial.

Growing more slowly:

Weekends and during the summer, it is possible that your child will neglect to take their medication.

They will likely regain their previous growth rate after one year of taking medication.

Stomach and headache discomfort: Stomach and headache discomfort can be alleviated by taking the medication with food, and they typically subside within a few weeks.

If medications that wear off quickly cause you discomfort, you may wish to attempt a different prescription, reduce the dosage, or begin the medication 30 minutes earlier.

The attending physician will experiment with a novel stimulant or medication for your child’s ticks.

Moodiness and irritability

It may be necessary for your child to consider an alternative stimulant or medication.

Discuss with your physician any possible adverse effects that your child might experience.

While stimulant medications may provide significant relief from the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in specific individuals, they also entail adverse or distressing side effects. We attempt to adjust your child’s dosage, release formula, or medication schedule in the event that adverse effects occur. Identifying the course of action that will benefit him the most while minimizing negative consequences is the objective.

The primary concerns to be mindful of are:

diminished appetite

Prolonged incidence of abdominal and headache pains

Rebound: irritability following cessation of tics induced by medication

Mood swings and agitation

Prior to initiating the medication, we must determine your child’s baseline in order to accurately assess the adverse effects. For example, some children with ADHD have complete difficulty falling slumber. Certain children with ADHD have an exceptionally selective palate.

It is feasible to mitigate the attribution of problems to medication by recognizing and acknowledging pre-existing concerns.

Two key factors in side effects

To reduce adverse effects, the optimal dosage must be achieved. Dopamine and norepinephrine are two neurotransmitters in the brain that are increased by stimulant drugs. If your youngster gets the right quantities of dopamine and norepinephrine, he will be very concentrated. However, excessive eating may result in adverse effects and cognitive duress.

It is noteworthy to acknowledge that there exist two categories of ADHD drugs, each derived from distinct stimulants:

Ritalin, Methylin, Concerta, Metadate, and Daytrana Patch are medications that contain methylphenidate; Adderall, Vyvanse, and Dexedrine are medications that contain dextroamphetamine.

Certain children respond to those two groups of medications in various ways. Even the same basic prescription given in varying release formulas, which affect how quickly the medicine reaches the circulation, can cause some people to react differently. Short-acting, instantly released formulations have a half-life of four hours.

Long-acting formulations gradually release the medication and have a maximum half-life of 14 hours. For this reason, when children experience undesirable side effects, we often experiment with changing drugs and formulas.

Sleep issues

If your child takes medication that causes them to stay up late, it’s because the drug continues to function at night. If he is taking a short-acting formula, he may be taking a second or third dose too late in the day, which would explain why the effects haven’t worn off by sleep. If he takes a medication that lasts 12 or 14 hours, try switching to one that is less long-acting.

Allow your child to take his medication for four to six weeks to see if he responds to it; drug-induced sleep problems typically improve with time.

Additionally, children who are overstimulated before bed—typically by using the computer—may find it difficult to go asleep. If the medication has worn off, their ADHD may be the reason they are sleeping.

In order to address sleep problems, we can also try the following medications: Melatonin has a function. Ten years ago, Benadryl was a commonly used medication. However, it was not intended to make youngsters feel tired the next day and less alert than they should have.

Eating issues

Extended-release medications may cause problems when eating. These drugs reach their peak four hours after consumption. Some kids who take the medication in the morning say they feel less hungry at lunch as a result.

One way you can help is to encourage your youngster to eat whenever he feels hungry. He can have a filling breakfast before the medication kicks in and at the end of the day when it’s starting to wear off.

Changing to immediate-release tablets, which wear off by lunch, or taking breaks from medication on weekends or vacations may help if your child’s medication use is a major problem.

Delayed growth

Some youngsters, particularly males, grow more slowly when taking stimulant medication, especially during the first year. But by the second and third year, the data suggests that they catch up and attain the growth that is expected of them. Furthermore, boys who avoided taking the medication throughout the summer and on weekends did not show the same reduction in growth over the course of the first year.

Nausea and headaches

When using medication, these problems typically disappear after a few weeks. If your child takes their prescription with food and, in some cases, if the amount or schedule is changed, you can lessen their intensity.



This is what some parents refer to as the “rebound effect.” Their youngster acts out and becomes very angry when the medicine wears off. Sometimes parents will tell me, “I know it’s going to happen every day at 4:30.”

This is due to the medication leaving the brain’s receptors too quickly. If your kid experiences rebound, you may want to consider introducing a lesser dose 30 minutes prior to the typical occurrence of rebound to help your child wean off the medicine more gently.

Rebound may occasionally be a sign that the dosage has to be decreased because it is too high. It can also indicate that your child’s body isn’t reacting well to this particular prescription; in that scenario, we ought to experiment with an other medication or formulation.

Lastly, we want to think about whether children who recover could have another problem. People with underlying anxiety or mood issues may stop taking their ADHD medication. We don’t want to ignore anything more that potentially causes problems.