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Medications Commonly Used to Treat Students with Learning Disabilities or ADHD

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

STIMULANTS (used for attention-deficit disorder and/or hyperactivity)

Drugs: Ritalin and/or Concerta (methylphenidate), Dexedrine (destroamphetamine), Adderall (amphetamine combined with dextroamphetamine)

Possible side effects: appetite suppression, insomnia, dysphoric reaction, growth delay, headaches, stomachaches, jitteriness, and social withdrawal

Note: Among the stimulants, Adderall in particular has been linked with some extreme side effects, including possible links with heart attacks, high blood pressure, and/or sudden death. The FDA announced in February of 2006 that studies were under way on this medication and possible links to these extreme side effects.

Antidepressants (used for depression, acute school refusal, and attention disorders)

Drugs: Tofranil (imipramine), Wellbutrein (bupropion hydrochloride), Aventyl (nortriptyline)

Possible side effects: dose-related dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, sedation, cardiac toxicity, seizures

Neuroinhibitors (used for attention disorders and behavioral problems)

Drugs: Strattera (atomoxetine)

Possible side effects: excessive tiredness, insomnia, increase in heart rate and blood pressure, sexual side effects, painful urination, suicide ideation

Neuroleptics (used for treating overt psychosis, unmanageable destructive behavior, severe aggression, and Tourette's syndrome)

Drugs: Haldol (haloperidol), Mellaril (thioridazine)

Possible side effects: sedation, dystonic reactions

Note: This information is provided only for general knowledge, and prior to taking any medication, a complete description and list of side effects should be considered by one's doctor.

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