Stimulant medications are the first-line treatment and main pharmacological treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children (6–12 years of age), adolescents (13–18 years of age), and adults (>18 years of age). They can also be used in the treatment of a sleep disorder called narcolepsy. Individuals with significant impairing symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, or both can be diagnosed with ADHD according to the specific criteria listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). The general management of ADHD involves pharmacological (medications) and nonpharmacological treatment called psychosocial treatment (e.g., psychological, educational, cognitive behavioral therapy, social skills training, organizational skills training). This entry focuses on the pharmacological treatments.

Classification of Stimulants

Stimulants are divided into two classes: (1) ...

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