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About ADD Medications

  • Myth: Medication should be stopped when a child reaches teen years.
    Research clearly shows that there is continued benefit to medication for those teens who meet criteria for diagnosis of ADD.

  • Myth: Children build up a tolerance to medication.
    Although the dose of medication may need adjusting from time to time there is no evidence that children build up a tolerance to medication.

  • Myth: Taking medication for ADD leads to greater likelihood of later drug addiction.
    There is no evidence to indicate that ADD medication leads to an increased likelihood of later drug addiction.

  • Myth: Positive response to medication is confirmation of a diagnosis of ADD.
    The fact that a child shows improvement of attention span or a reduction of activity while taking ADD medication does not substantiate the diagnosis of ADD. Even some normal children will show a marked improvement in attentiveness when they take ADD medications.

  • Myth: Medication stunts growth.
    ADD medications may cause an initial and mild slowing of growth, but over time the growth suppression effect is minimal if non-existent in most cases.

  • Myth: Taking ADD medications as a child makes you more reliant on drugs as an adult.
    There is no evidence of increased medication taking when medicated ADD children become adults, nor is there evidence that ADD children develop a prescription drug addiction.

  • Myth: ADD children who take medication attribute their success only to medication.
    When self-esteem is encouraged, a child taking medication attributes his success not only to the medication but to himself as well.


This section (Myth-conceptions) was published in the Fall 1991 Chadder titled "Medical Management of Children with ADD Commonly Asked Questions" by Parker et al.

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