Doctors typically recommend medication for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This can include stimulants and nonstimulants. Therapy or counseling may also help a person with ADHD to manage their symptoms.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes inattention, hyperactivity, and poor impulse control.

The condition can affect school performance, relationships, and daily functioning. Treatment is essential to manage the symptoms of ADHD and improve an individual’s quality of life.

Read on to learn more about ADHD treatments. This article looks at how medications, home remedies, and counseling may help.

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Doctors usually diagnose ADHD during a person’s childhood. As part of the treatment plan, depending on the age of the child, doctors may recommend medications to treat ADHD.

Typically, for children from preschool age to about 5 years, behavior therapy remains the first line of treatment before medication.

For children older than 5 years, doctors may recommend medication. The classifications of medications to treat ADHD include stimulants and nonstimulants.

The advocacy group, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), includes the following common medications for ADHD:


Methylphenidate acts as a stimulant that helps the network of nerve cells in the brain work better together. It acts by stimulating the dopamine system. Although a stimulant, it helps reduce symptoms of ADHD.

Learn more about methylphenidate.


Atomoxetine is a nonstimulant ADHD medication. It works on the norepinephrine system in the brain to decrease hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Some people may opt for a nonstimulant medication if stimulant medications do not work well.

Alpha-2 agonists

This type of medication is also a nonstimulant. It may help to manage symptoms of ADHD in children.

However, alpha-2 agonists are less common treatments for adults with ADHD.

Learn more about medications for ADHD.

Therapy or counseling for ADHD can help someone manage symptoms. Behavior counseling helps teach children and parents certain techniques to improve behavior and ways to deal with symptoms.

Behavior counseling should start as soon as possible after a diagnosis of ADHD. It may work well for children of all ages, from preschool age to teenagers. Education for parents is also useful to help manage ADHD in children.

According to CHADD, adults with ADHD may benefit from cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). CBT helps people with ADHD recognize irrational thought processes. By identifying these thoughts, someone may be able to change their behaviors.

Learn more about behavioral therapy for ADHD.

Treatment is similar for adults and children with ADHD. The medications for children also often work for treating adults with ADHD.

Learning various types of behavior management techniques may also be helpful in improving organizational skills.

According to CHADD, about two-thirds to three-quarters of adults with ADHD also have at least one type of psychiatric condition during their lifetime. Treatment for this coexisting mental health disorder may also be useful.

About 50% of children with ADHD try home remedies or alternative treatments. Home remedies may include:

Lifestyle modifications such as the following may also help treat ADHD:

However, more research is necessary before doctors recommend these treatments alone to improve ADHD symptoms.

Learn more about natural remedies for ADHD.

Here are some frequently asked questions about ADHD treatments.

What is the best treatment for ADHD?

The best treatment may depend on the severity of symptoms and the age of the individual. Each person is unique, and doctors typically individualize treatment plans. Treatment may include a combination of behavioral counseling, education, and medication.

When it comes to medications, stimulants appear to be more common. About 70–80% of children have fewer symptoms of ADHD when taking stimulant medications.

How can I resolve ADHD naturally?

While a person may not entirely resolve ADHD naturally, there are natural ways to help decrease symptoms. For instance, counseling, exercise, and education may all help manage symptoms. A doctor can advise on specific steps a person can take to help manage the condition.

What foods should a person with ADHD avoid?

The advocacy group, Attention Deficit Disorder Association, reports that there is no one specific diet recommendation for adults with ADHD. Studies have also not concluded official dietary guidelines for children. However, certain types of food may play a role in symptoms in some people.

Foods to avoid include:

  • sugary foods
  • unhealthy fats
  • caffeine

Learn more about ADHD and diet.

ADHD resources

Visit our dedicated hub for more research-backed information and in-depth resources on ADHD.

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ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that leads to hyperactivity, poor impulse control, and difficulty with attention. Treatments may help manage the symptoms.

Treatment includes medication, behavior counseling, and education. Home remedies may also help a person manage symptoms of ADHD. Examples include dietary changes and regular physical activity.

A person’s doctor will be able to advise on the treatments they recommend, help an individual monitor their symptoms, and make changes to the person’s treatment plan when necessary.