Medication is currently the best form of ADHD treatment and works well for both adults and children. With the many medication options available on the market, each with its benefits and side effects that differ from person to person, finding the right medication can be tough.
It is common for people to find that their medications just don’t seem to work anymore or have become less effective, as the medicines may be affected by poor metabolism, hormonal issues, high blood pressure, poor sleep, or even food and beverages. But how do you know if your ADHD medication has become less effective or has just stopped working for you and why?
Signs Your Medication Is Not Working
ADHD medications help reduce symptoms, but if your symptoms recur after a period of being under control or they get worse, your medication may not be serving its purpose anymore.
For an accurate analysis of your medication’s effectiveness, you should measure the effects of your medication only in the time period from when you first take the medication until it wears off. Any changes in your behavior or symptoms should appear during this period.
Why Your Medication Is Not Working
There are several key reasons for this.
Everyone’s genetic makeup differs, and medication effectiveness can vary widely from person to person. Some stimulants cause more side effects or are less effective than others in the individual, or you may simply be unsuited for stimulants and should be taking non-stimulants instead.
- Physical Changes
Our bodies go through changes with the passing of time, such as child development, puberty, aging, etc. As such, the medication you are currently taking may no longer be the right dose or type following these changes.
The effectiveness of ADHD medication relies on the absorption capability in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, your metabolism, and passage through the blood-brain barrier. As we enter different stages of our lives, these factors may be affected.
- Lifestyle Changes
Your lifestyle changes can lead to physical changes that affect the effectiveness of the medication as well. Dietary changes can affect your GI tract absorption capabilities. Elsewhere, certain life events that are stressful such as sudden changes in your environment or personal life or a significant increase in workload can also interfere with your medication.
- New Conditions
Other conditions commonly experienced by persons with ADHD are anxiety and depression, which can manifest new symptoms that make it seem that your ADHD medication is not working well.
- Misdiagnosis of ADHD
There is a possibility that you or your child may be misdiagnosed with ADHD. Several symptoms of ADHD also occur in other conditions, so it is possible that the symptoms displayed could be due to autism, bipolar disorder, or sleep disruption instead.
Steps To Take When Your Medication Is No Longer Working
If you feel that your current medication is simply not working for you or your child anymore, you should consult your medical provider who will either change the medication type or alter your dosage. Such changes will require an observation period of their effectiveness and side effects.
To skip the trial and error process, you can instead opt for genetic testing for ADHD medication to get an accurate recommendation of the type and dosage of medication best suited for you based on your unique genetic makeup.