ADHD Medication Side Effects

Any time a child starts on ADHD treatment, the parents need to closely monitor their child for any potential side effects coming from ADHD medication and watch to see if the ADHD symptoms decrease.

It is especially important to monitor younger children who may not be able to express or verbalize what they are experiencing when taking their medication. This includes natural supplements for ADHD also.

It is also recommended that parents inform their child’s school officials and teachers whenever a child starts on a trial of medication. In case the child starts to experience serious side effects from their ADHD medication, the doctor who has prescribed the medication needs to be immediately notified. School nurses may be very helpful with this.

Common Adverse Reactions To ADHD Medications


Psycho-stimulants are the most common medication class that is prescribed for ADHD. Drugs that are part of this class include Dexedrine, Metadate, Vyvanse, Focalin, Concerta, Ritalin and Adderall.

The above medications all differ in terms of their formula. In addition, children will vary in terms of the reactions their bodies have to a drug. Therefore, the severity and extent that the negative effects will have will also vary, if any adverse effects are experienced at all by a child. The following are some of the more common side effects from these medications:

Head aches

– Motor tics

– Irritability and aggression in extreme cases

– Sleep disturbances, which can include insomnia

– Weight loss and decrease in appetite

– Heart problems in children who have pre-existing cardiac problems
Strattera (Atomexetine):

This is a type of non-stimulant medication that is frequently prescribed to children who don’t have a good response to psycho-stimulant medications or who have other kinds of issues that prevent them from being able to take stimulant medications. Although initial clinical studies have indicated that Strattera produces only minimal side effects, there have been some patients who have experienced more side effects from taking the medication. Some of those side effects include the following:

Psychotic behavioral reactions

– Suicidal ideation

– Liver problems
Guanfacine and Clonidine:

Typically these medications are used for treating high blood pressure. However, at times they are prescribed for treating ADHD symptoms or ADHD medication side effects. Also, these drugs are sometimes used for managing the aggression that is exhibited by some children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. The following are some side effects that are association with these medications:

Dry mouth

– Dizziness

– Sleep disturbance, which includes both insomnia and drowsiness

Given how many possible side effects there are that are associated with ADHD medications in addition to the potential of addiction and abuse of psycho-stimulant medication, numerous parents are turning to herbal and natural treatments for ADHD.

Numerous parents are trying out psychotherapy and coaching in order to develop social and behavioral interventions that can help their children manage and adapt to their ADHD symptoms. It is important to consult with your child’s pediatrician before stopping, modifying or starting any ADHD treatment.