ADHD Medication Resources

Imageby Soleil Gregg, MA

[Updated April 2015]

For parents and families:

The ADHD Parents Medication Guide, a joint publication of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA), is intended to educate parents, families, and patients about ADHD and help them to understand various treatments for children with ADHD. Written in reader-friendly language and a question-and-answer format, the Medication Guide provides comprehensive information about ADHD, its effects on children’s functioning and behavior, and various treatment options, with a special focus on ADHD medications. Sections address how to determine if the medication is working, what side effects to look for, and what to do if side effects occur.  Behavioral therapies, school services, and unproven treatments are also discussed, and an extensive list of ADHD resources is included at the end. A CHADD family member had input in its development. English and Spanish versions of the Medication Guide can be downloaded for free.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has posted numerous articles on ADHD medications on its website dedicated to families. Searching the phrase “ADHD medication” brings up information on all aspects of medication use, including the role of medication in treatment of ADHD; types of medications; medication safety, effectiveness, and side effects; explaining medication to children; and questions to ask your child’s doctor. These articles can be downloaded for free.

For patients and professionals:

Drug-specific patient medication guides were developed by pharmaceutical companies at the direction of the Food and Drug Administration as part of a drug safety and awareness initiative to alert consumers and physicians about the potential side effects and risks of various medications. Pharmacies dispense these guides along with medications when prescriptions are filled. The FDA has conveniently posted all ADHD medications on one webpage, with links both to the medication guides for patients and to labeling information for physicians for each listed medication; both can be downloaded for free.

For professionals:

The  ADHD Medication Guide©  (most recent revision 04/01/2015) was developed by Andrew Adesman, MD, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, North Shore-LIJ Health System. Intended for professionals who work with patients with ADHD, this handy, one-page guide provides succinct information on FDA-approved medications for the treatment of ADHD. Much like the Physician’s Desk Reference, this guide includes actual-size, color photographs of ADHD medications, along with dosing instructions and ages for which the medication has FDA approval. The guide can be downloaded for free.


Soleil Gregg, MA, is past secretary of CHADD’s board of directors and past chair of the public policy committee and editorial advisory board for Attention magazine. She represents families with ADHD for CHADD on AACAP’s Pediatric Pharmacology Initiative. The mother of two grown children with ADHD, she is also an adult with ADHD.

Updated in April 2015, this article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Attention magazine. Copyright © 2011, 2015 by Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without written permission from CHADD. 
Posted in: 2011, October