ADHD | Mental Health

ADHD Medication Trials

What to expect when a doctor prescribes ADHD medication

Published in
8 min readAug 3, 2021


Photo by Christina Victoria Craft on Unsplash

Obligatory Disclaimer

This is not an article about different medications and their pros and cons, nor is it a debate about whether or not to use medications to treat ADHD.

As with any medical advice, those are conversations to be had with a medical professional.

What this article is about is what you might expect if you or your child are prescribed and start taking a medication to treat ADHD. This is not predicting what will happen, this is outlining some of the possibilities of what might happen.

These possibilities are based on research, personal experience, as well as my professional experience supporting families who — in consultation with their doctors — have chosen to try ADHD medications.

There are two different types of medications that can be used to treat ADHD symptoms: stimulant and non-stimulant. Stimulants are the most commonly prescribed as they tend to help with focus, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and emotional regulation.

Non-stimulant medications tend to be the back-up plan for people who don’t tolerate the stimulants or their side-effects well, but this is not always the case. Some people simply find their symptoms are better managed with non-stimulant medications.

Once you and your doctor have determined which medication will be best for you, I describe what you might expect. Again, this is general information only, based on research, personal experience, and my professional experience. This does not replace medical advice from an expert.

A Honeymoon Period

For many people, the first two weeks to two months after starting the right medication for their ADHD are a dream. Their child has suddenly been replaced with some kind of angel, or they find they have the energy of an entire army, and their house has never looked better.

Whatever the case may be, be prepared that this may happen. If it does happen, also be prepared for the possibility that it might not last. (Sorry).



She/they. Neurodivergent, 20+ yrs SW & Psych. experience. I write about mental health, neurodiversity, education, and parenting. Founder of Neurodiversity MB.