ADHD Medications and Side Effects

There are two main types of ADHD medications: stimulants and non-stimulants.


Stimulants are the most common type of ADHD medication. They work by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Dopamine and norepinephrine are neurotransmitters that play a role in attention, focus, and impulse control.

Stimulants can be very effective for treating ADHD, but they can also cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects of stimulants include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Tics
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches


Non-stimulants are a newer type of ADHD medication. They work in different ways than stimulants, but they are also effective for treating ADHD. Non-stimulants are less likely to cause side effects than stimulants, but they can still cause some side effects, such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach aches
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache

It is important to note that everyone reacts to ADHD medications differently. Some people may experience side effects from both stimulants and non-stimulants, while others may not experience any side effects at all.

If you are considering taking ADHD medication, it is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of different medications. Your doctor can help you to choose a medication that is right for you and can monitor you for side effects.

Here are some tips for managing side effects of ADHD medication:

  • Take your medication at the same time each day.
  • Take your medication with food to reduce the risk of stomach upset.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can interact with ADHD medications.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any side effects.

If you have any questions or concerns about ADHD medications and side effects, be sure to talk to your doctor.