My child needs a medication review
The aim of treatment is to increase the dosage until a stable or optimised level has been reached that will control your child’s symptoms with the fewest side effects.
During a medication review, the effectiveness of your child’s ADHD medication will be monitored, as well as any adverse effects experienced. Dose adjustments can also be made based on the response to treatment. Your child’s height, weight, blood pressure and pulse will also be monitored.
If a medication review is required, this can be requested by calling or emailing your local CAMHS clinic. Your request will then be passed on to the relevant clinician looking after your child and a review can be booked once an appointment is available.
My child needs a repeat prescription
When a repeat prescription is required, this can be requested by emailing your local CAMHS clinic and providing the following information about your child:
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Name of Medication Prescribed
- Dosage of Medication Prescribed
- Number of days left
- Information about any Allergies
- The best contact number to use in case we need to contact you prior to issuing the prescription
Please note that we require 14 days’ notice to process your repeat prescription request and are unable to issue urgent prescriptions on the same day as we are not an emergency service.
COMING SOON: Prescriptions are written electronically and sent to a nominated chemist so you do not need to collect from the clinic
Does NELFT CYPMHS accept children and young people diagnosed by other providers?
If your child has been assessed and diagnosed with ADHD by another service or organisation - NHS or private - we will accept the referral. However, the assessment will be scrutinised by our clinicians, who will determine whether your child will require a full ADHD second opinion assessment or can be seen for review and subsequent treatment. Please note that this may take some time.
Can NELFT CYPMHS take over prescribing from another prescribing service?
As above, we will accept referrals and pass them on to the relevant locality team. However, as stated we may need to conduct our own assessment before providing any form of intervention. In the interim, any ongoing medication that was recommended and/or prescribed as part of the previous assessment will need to be provided by that organisation/clinician. We will review this with you as part of our assessment, though we cannot guarantee that we will provide the same treatment, as any intervention will be informed by our clinical judgement.
What medication is available for treating ADHD?
Role of medicines in ADHD
Drug treatment is very effective in reducing the core symptoms of ADHD (inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity) and should be combined with appropriate psychological, behavioural and environmental interventions for optimal outcomes. These include psychoeducation and advice on parenting strategies.
How ADHD affects the brain
In order for the brain to function, neurones (brain cells) have to pass information along to each other using a variety of chemicals or neurotransmitters. This process is called neurotransmission. The tail end of the sending neurone releases a small amount of chemical which must cross a small gap — called a synapse — to reach the tip of the receiving neurone and bind to its landing site (receptors).
All sending neurones need to hoover up extra neurotransmitters so they can get ready to send another signal. This process is called reuptake.
With ADHD, this process can get disrupted in different ways:
- The sending neurone may not release enough neurotransmitters.
- The sending neurone may suck the neurotransmitters back up before a good connection is made so the receiving neurone is unable to get the message.
Difficulty passing information from one neurone to another can affect attention. It can also impact motivation and helps explain other ADHD symptoms like being restless and impulsive.
How medicines work in ADHD
Medication can reduce ADHD symptoms by helping neurones pass along messages. It can make neurotransmission more efficient in the following ways:
- By enhancing the release of neurotransmitters
- By slowing down reuptake of neurotransmitters so they have more time to activate the next neurone
These actions can help more neurotransmitters reach the next neurone and pass the message along. By improving neurotransmission, ADHD medication can make children less hyperactive and help them pay attention which can help them process and learn new information.
However, medication is not a “cure” for ADHD and can reduce symptoms only while it’s active in the body.
Commonly prescribed medication in ADHD
There are two main types of medication for ADHD: stimulants and non-stimulants. They work in different ways in the brain to help control ADHD’s core symptoms.
All classes of ADHD medication have possible side effects. These are often temporary and can be helped by reducing the dose or changing the timing of the dose. Stimulants can cause loss of appetite, insomnia, flattened mood, irritability, and increased anxiety.
Non-stimulants are commonly associated with nausea, fatigue, sedation and dizziness.
Both groups can also cause raised blood pressure and pulse rate, and growth deceleration. As a result, routine physical health checks are required.