ADHD Medications for Adults (cont.)
Annette (Gbemudu) Ogbru, PharmD, MBA
Dr. Gbemudu received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Nova Southeastern University, her PharmD degree from University of Maryland, and MBA degree from University of Baltimore. She completed a one year post-doctoral fellowship with Rutgers University and Bristol Myers Squibb.
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
In this Article
- Overview of Adult ADHD
- For what conditions are ADHD medications used?
- What are the different types of ADHD drugs?
- What are the non-stimulating ADHD medications for adults?
- Are there differences among ADHD drugs?
- What are the side effects of ADHD drugs?
- What are the warnings/precautions when using ADHD drugs?
- ADHD medications for adults with anxiety
- ADHD medications for adults with high blood pressure
- What are the drug interactions of ADHD drugs?
- What are some examples of ADHD drugs?
ADHD medications for adults with anxiety
Adult patients with an anxiety disorder as well as ADHD should be first treated for the primary condition. ADHD symptoms should be treated if they still persist after resolution of anxiety symptoms. However it is important to first investigate whether the anxiety symptoms are as a result of ADHD. In this case, effective treatment of ADHD would most likely resolve the anxiety as well. However, there is conflicting data on whether stimulant medications can improve anxiety symptoms. A study of 42 patients with ADHD and comorbid anxiety found that treatment with methylphenidate had a beneficial effect on anxiety symptoms. However other studies have shown that stimulants have no effect on anxiety.
ADHD medications for adults with high blood pressure
ADHD medications such as methamphetamine, methylphenidate and atomoxetine can increase blood pressure and heart rate and lead to myocardial infarction and sudden unexplained death (SUD). Although they are contraindicated for use in patients with cardiac disease, hypertension is a precaution, not an absolute contraindication.
If elevation of blood pressure occurs while taking these medications, the dose may need to be reduced or the medication may need to be discontinued. Treatment with an antihypertensive medication may also be necessary. Periodic blood pressure and heart rate monitoring is recommended in all patients taking methylphenidate. For atomoxetine, blood pressure and heart rate testing is recommended when starting therapy, after increase in doses, and periodically throughout therapy. There are no specific guidelines recommending certain medications for adults with ADHD and high blood pressure.
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