How Effective Are Ritalin and Dexedrine in Treating the Symptoms of ADHD?

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D.
 


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Many research studies have shown the overall effectiveness of stimulant medication, such as Ritalin and Dexedrine in their various forms, in treating the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders in children, teens, and adults. Even though stimulants are not the only effective option in the treatment of the disorder, stimulants may be a good choice, and their use should be discussed with your physician.

Over the couse of these newsletters we will be presenting information on the relative effectiveness of the three most effective treatment options: Stimulants, EEG Biofeedback training, and ATTEND homeopathic nutriceutical medicine.

A study by Rossiter and La Vaque which used the same protocols that we used in our clinical studies with ATTEND compared the effectiveness of Ritalin (stimulants) to EEG Biofeedback training. . They used the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) as the measuring instrument to determine change in performance after using either medications of EEG Biofeedback training for 30 days. The TOVA is a computerized Continuous Performance Test (CPT) that has no placebo effective, and has no bias (such ahs you might see with parent rating scales).

A Comparison of EEG Biofeedback and Psychostimulants in Treating Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders. Thomas P. Rossiter, and Theodore J. La Vaque. Journal of Neurotherapy, 1, Summer 1995

Stimulant medications showed “statistically significant improvements" in all categories (a five point improvement is “statistically significant" with the TOVA test). The stimulants used were Ritalin and Dexedrine, and these were the results after 30 days of use.

The use of stimulants are often a good choice, and should always be considered when developing a treatment plan. Should they always be the first choice? Not necessarily, unless the situation is so difficult, or change must be see immediately, that there are no other choices.

As you will see in later issues, the use of EEG Biofeedback training, and/or the use of ATTEND (a nutriceutical medicine using amino acids, essential fatty acids, lipid complexes, and homeopathic medicines) along with some improvements in diet, can also be as effective as the use of stimulants.

Douglas Cowan, Psy. D. , is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net , helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL. , is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.

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