Drug Side Effects of ADHD

ADHD: Medications and Serious Side Effects

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, currently affects about 7.5% of school-aged children. There are several medications that can be prescribed for the condition. These medicines are meant to help children concentrate better in school, behave in a calmer fashion and even sleep better at night. However, there are side effects associated with these medicines, which is why a number of parents are choosing to treat their children's ADHD naturally. If your son or daughter has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, here are some side effect symptoms to look for that will let you know whether the medicine is having an adverse effect on your child.


This ADHD medication is said to improve mental focus and concentration and each dose is supposed to last for 4 to 6 hours. Adderall is a type of amphetamine that is said to cut down on fatigue and put children in a better mood.

However, side effects of the drug include appetite loss and irritability. Children may also have trouble sleeping as a result of taking the medication, and could develop tics due to the changes the medicine makes in the nervous system.


Ritalin is a methylphenidate stimulant that helps to keep a child alert yet calm. The medication has been known to improve children's behavior in school by helping them not to distract others and helping the child to sit still for a few minutes at a time without getting agitated.

Ritalin side effects can include weight loss and trouble sleeping. Children who are allergic to the medication may experience tongue or throat swelling or start to break out in hives shortly after ingesting a dose of the medicine. For some young ADHD patients, Ritalin can have the opposite effect it's supposed to. Children could become aggressive and restless or exhibit overall strange behavior that is out of character. Some kids may even feel dizzy or have the urge to faint as a result of taking the medication.


Strattera is an extended release ADHD medication that can last for up to 24 hours. The medication is recommended for ADHD patients age 6 and up. Strattera can help children to stop fidgeting or excessively daydreaming in class.

Every child's body doesn't react well to Strattera. Some people experience irregular heartbeat, and could even develop liver disease. Vomiting, excessive sweating, confusion and changes in vision are also a sign that your child is not reacting well to Strattera.

A diet that is free of gluten and dairy could help to improve brain function in children with ADHD. This alternative health adjustment may eliminate the need for medication in some cases, particularly in children who don't react well to prescription medicines. Herbal supplements and aromatherapy oils like valerian root and vetiver oil can also help to effectively calm the nervous system of a child with ADHD without harmful side effects.