Different Types of ADHD and Alternative Treatment


People with the hyperactive type of ADHD are much easier to spot. They tend to always be in motion or talking. They often describe themselves as feeling “driven by a motor.” This makes it hard for these people to sit still and learn in school or function well at work. They often have problems with too much behavior in different places, like in a library or in a car.


Three Types of ADHD

ADHD is divided into three different types:

  • predominantly inattentive type
  • predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
  • combination type

Medication Treatments

Atomoxetine, brand name, Strattera, is a non-stimulant drug that was approved in November, 2002 and became available in US pharmacies in early 2003 for children and adults with ADHD. It is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. While the stimulants primarily affect the dopaminergic system, atomoxetine has its primary effect on the noradrenergic system. It has been shown to improve core symptoms of ADHD, namely, inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. It has some weak antidepressant properties as well and may help improve and regulate mood. While stimulants start working within a half hour to an hour after ingestion, atomoxetine has a more gradual onset and the maximal effect may not be seen for three weeks.

Certain anti-hypertensive medications known as adrenergic agonists (Clonidine and Tenex) are used in combination with other medications to help very hyperactive and impulsive children.


Do medications cure ADHD?

Currently medications do not cure ADHD. Medications can only aid in controlling ADHD symptoms of focus and impulsivity, but do not provide an individual with the executive function skills (initiation, planning, working memory, organization) they have not yet developed. Adding therapy, counseling, and practical support can help ADHD students, adults, and their families better cope with every day problems.

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