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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Adult Medication



I am a 34 yr. old mother of two young children. I was diagnosed in college with having ADD and was put on Ritalin at that time. It was like a miracle my grades and social life dramatically improved. My question is since i graduated I have been struggling with it & organization and my doctor put me on different anti-depressant meds that never worked. Well, what is your opinion about an adult on Ritalin or something similar? How should i work through this with my doctor?


Your`s is a common problem. Many physicians are uncomfortable prescribing methylphenidate (the generic name for Ritalin) to adults. There is no question that most adults with ADD could benefit from a stimulant, that methylphenidate used for ADD is not addicting (at least, not any more than using glasses for nearsightedness), and that only a small percent of persons with ADD are helped with an antidepressant alone. It sounds like you need to let your doctor know you feel the medication is indicated and ask your doctor, under what circumstances s/he would prescribe methylphenidate. If the answer is `none`, you may need to search out an ADD specialist or psychiatrist very familiar with ADD. If the answer is to get certain tests, see certain specialists, etc, follow his/her recommendations and go from there. Best of luck to you!

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Response by:

Susan Louisa Montauk, MD
Formerly Professor of Family Medicine
University of Cincinnati