Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Behavioral Treatments Could Lead to Lower and Safer Doses of Medication for Children with ADHD

Balancing a low dose of behavior therapy with a low dose of medication may be the key to helping children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to a new study by researchers at FIU's Center for Children and Families. High doses of stimulant medication and intensive behavior therapy are each known to be effective individual modes of treatment. But medication may suppress a child's growth and decrease appetite, while intensive behavior therapy is costly, time-intensive and may not be feasible for many families. The researchers say finding a balance may be the key to more effectively treating ADHD. "Our data show that stimulant doses can be reduced dramatically if a child is treated with behavior modification," said lead researcher William E. Pelham, Jr., chairman of the FIU Department of Psychology and director of the Center for Children and Families. "Given concerns about long-term side effects of these medications, such as growth reduction, providing behavioral interventions would appear to minimize the need for medication and maximize response to very low doses for the majority of children with ADHD." more

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