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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is one of the most prevalent pediatric psychiatric conditions defined by an incessant pattern of inattentiveness and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that obstructs behavior or growth.1 It is commonly diagnosed in childhood and can last well into adulthood.
Children and adolescents who have difficulty focusing and behaving are not uncommon. Still, children with ADHD do not simply grow out of these behaviors. Those with ADHD may struggle to pay attention, manage impulsive behaviors, or be extremely active.2
In the United States, the prevalence of ADHD is 8.7%, and 62.1% of children diagnosed are taking medication.3 In addition, boys are more likely than girls among those to have an ADHD diagnosis. Furthermore, compared to Hispanic children and Asian, non-Hispanic children, Black, non-Hispanic children, and White, non-Hispanic children have higher rates of ADHD diagnosis.4
Moreover, ADHD is now the second most common chronic illness or disability in Tennessee public schools, with 38,314 kids receiving a diagnosis for the 2019–20 academic year.5 In addition, the number of children taking ADHD medication in Tennessee is higher compared to the U.S. over time.6
Symptoms of ADHD
The additional following signs and symptoms of ADHD persist and can often be severe, leading to issues at school, at home, and in other social situations.
- Frequent daydreaming
- Difficulty paying attention
- Easily losing things
- Squirming or fidgeting
- Talking too much
- Taking unnecessary risks
- Making careless decisions
- Hard time resisting temptation
- Difficulty taking turns
- Difficulty getting along with others
Causes of ADHD
Researchers are examining the cause(s) and risk factors for ADHD to improve management and lower the likelihood of someone getting it. Current research indicates that genetics plays a significant role in ADHD,7 although the root cause(s) and risk factors are unknown.
In addition to genetics, scientists are also researching the following as potential causes of ADHD:
Environment: There is convincing evidence linking specific environmental risk factors to later ADHD diagnoses. These environmental elements may consist of:
- Drug or chemical exposure during pregnancy
- According to 2012 research, pregnant women who consume alcohol or smoke tobacco during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children with ADHD.8
- Environmental toxins
- These toxins can include lead, mercury, and pesticides.
Development: Researchers look at brain injury, premature birth, low birth weight, and bacterial infections like encephalitis as possible causes and risk factors.
Medication Management & ADHD
Monitoring, ongoing medication reconciliation, and ensuring patients receive the expected results are all part of medication management. A detailed analysis of the medications’ potential adverse effects is necessary to develop treatment plans and track the safety and effectiveness of prescribed medications.
Finding the proper medication is essential to treating your ADHD effectively. The ideal medication will alleviate the issues brought on by ADHD while minimizing adverse side effects. You can reduce the symptoms and lead a regular, balanced life by receiving the proper medical care. In addition, if the recommended medications are changed per the patient’s state of health and reaction, drugs combined with behavioral therapy can be substantially effective.
Doctors who prescribe ADHD medication in Tennessee include psychiatrists or pediatricians. But those who go to a therapist might be able to acquire a recommendation for a medical professional who can prescribe medications.9
Medicines used to treat ADHD include:
- Although one of the symptoms of ADHD is hyperactivity, this does not always imply that the person is overstimulated. Not all ADHD sufferers exhibit hyperactivity. Stimulants are frequently recommended to those who fit the characteristics of being hyperactive but not overstimulated.
- Stimulants boost the neural channel for improved communication by increasing blood flow to the brain’s prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is in charge of planning, organizing, and reasoning. In addition, stimulants boost energy, alertness, and focus.10
- Dopamine is a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure, movement, and attention. It is the primary neurotransmitter that all stimulants raise in the brain. Stimulants work therapeutically by slowly and steadily increasing dopamine, similar to how dopamine is created in the brain naturally.11
- Common stimulants include:
- Focalin XR
- Generally, non-stimulant medications are referred to as SNRIs (selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). They influence a patient’s behavior by raising dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain’s prefrontal cortex.
- Non-stimulants don’t frequently result in agitation, insomnia, or decreased appetite. Additionally, they don’t carry the same danger of abuse or addiction as stimulants. Also, they have a more enduring and gradual effect than many stimulants.12
- Non-stimulants are appropriate if the side effects from stimulants are too severe or don’t help in any way. Furthermore, non-stimulants are helpful for those who have previous issues with bipolar disorder, cardiac health, or drug use.13
- Common stimulants include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
- Clonidine (Kapvay)
- Guanfacine (Intuniv)
- Viloxazine (Qelbree)
Insurance may be able to help cover the cost of ADHD medication and medication management. Find out if your insurance provider can help with the costs by filling in our confidential insurance verification form below.
Side Effects of ADHD Medications
There is always a chance that medications will cause side effects. However, there won’t be any or all of the same side effects for everyone, and while some may subside, others might not.14
Each patient will react differently to various medications, and the adverse effects are dependent on the medication and dosage. Our mental care specialists can evaluate whether a patient’s symptoms are caused by ADHD or another underlying issue through extensive psychiatric evaluations. Additionally, it aids in detecting any co-occurring disorders, including anxiety and depression, substance use disorder, and bipolar disorder.
Common ADHD medication side effects include:
- Sleep issues
- Loss of appetite
- Mood changes
- Rebound effects
- Increase in blood pressure and pulse
- Severe depression
Is ADHD Medication Management Covered by Insurance?
A portion of the cost of ADHD medication management in Tennessee is covered by most insurance plans (including Medicaid and Medicare) with prescription drug coverage. If a drug has a generic alternative, the insurance plan is more likely to pay for the generic version than the name-brand one.
Some insurance plans require prior authorization before covering ADHD medication, particularly when the brand-name prescription has no generic substitute. This implies that your doctor will have to tell the insurance provider why you require the drug and how it will be used to treat your illness.
Health insurance providers have their own policies and guidelines regarding the coverage of ADHD medications. A formulary, or list of pharmaceuticals each plan covers, is available. Some insurance plans may not cover certain ADHD drugs, or you may first need to try a different medication.15
Can ADHD Medications Be Prescribed Online?
Yes, it is possible to be prescribed ADHD medications via telehealth treatment. Each state has its own laws outlining this process. Still, the pandemic relaxed several prescription regulations, improving the convenience of the prescription procedure.16
How to Find an ADHD Medication Doctor Near Me
With Athena Care’s multiple ADHD testing clinics in Tennessee, receiving an ADHD testing assessment, prescriptions, monitoring, and the overall health care necessary for your or your child’s ADHD is just a phone call away. A care coordinator can assist you with any questions or concerns regarding ADHD medication management Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Here, you’ll find a list of ADHD doctors organized by city, as well as information about their backgrounds and specialties. When choosing an ADHD medication specialist in Tennessee or any other mental health professional, it’s important to ask questions and to keep the following in mind:
- Education, training, license, and years of experience
- Specialties and services offered
- Treatment methods and philosophies
- Insurance companies they work with
- Office hours
- Session length
In addition to the above, below are a few examples of further questions to consider when seeking ADHD medication doctors in Tennessee:17
- How do you use medicine in your practice?
- How frequently will you need to see my child for routine office visits?
- What potential side effects might a prescription drug have?
- What other forms of ADHD treatment outside medication could you suggest?
- Is therapy included in the course of treatment?
- What typical outcomes have you experienced with your clients?
- What can I do to support my child at home?
- What can the psychologist and teachers of my child do to support my child?
Athena Care offers a full-spectrum of mental and behavioral health services to those in Tennessee.
We have qualified therapists and accept many of the big name insurance providers. Our locations are open Monday-Friday from 7am to 6pm. Learn more below:
- “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.” National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services., www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd. Accessed 27 July 2022.
- “What is ADHD?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html
- Bozinovic, Kesten, et al. “U.S. National, Regional, and State-Specific Socioeconomic Factors Correlate with Child and Adolescent ADHD Diagnoses Pre-COVID-19 Pandemic.” Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 2021. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-01233-2.
- Bitsko, Rebecca. “Mental Health Surveillance Among Children …” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 24 Feb. 2022, www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/su/su7102a1.htm.
- “Annual School Health Services Report.” TN.Gov, Tennessee Department of Education, www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/csh/201920AnnualSchoolHealthServicesReport.pdf. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.
- “ADHD Information by State.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 9 July 2020, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data/state-profiles/tennessee.html.
- Faraone, Stephen V., et al. “The World Federation of ADHD International Consensus Statement: 208 Evidence-Based Conclusions about the Disorder.” Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 128, 2021, pp. 789–818. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.01.022.
- Zeeuw, P. de, et al. “Prenatal Exposure to Cigarette Smoke or Alcohol and Cerebellum Volume in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Typical Development.” Translational Psychiatry, vol. 2, no. 3, 2012, p. e84. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2012.12.
- Villines, Zawn. “Who Can Diagnose ADHD?” Medical News Today, Healthline Media UK Ltd, 27 Apr. 2021, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/adhd-doctor.
- “Prescription Stimulants DrugFacts.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 22 Mar. 2022, nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-stimulants.
- “Stimulant ADHD Medications: Methylphenidate and Amphetamines.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Jan. 2014, https://nida.nih.gov/sites/default/files/drugfacts_stimulantadhd_1.pdf.
- “Nonstimulants and Other ADHD Drugs.” WebMD, WebMD LLC., 1 July 2004, www.webmd.com/add-adhd/adhd-nonstimulant-drugs-therapy.
- Low, Keath. “Non-Stimulant Medications to Treat ADHD That Have Less Side Effects.” Verywell Mind, Dotdash Media, Inc., 19 May 2022, www.verywellmind.com/non-stimulant-adhd-medication-20884.
- Herndon, Jaime M. “What to Know About ADHD Medication Side Effects.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 13 Apr. 2021, www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adhd-medication-side-effects.
- Modglin, Lindsay. “2022 ADHD Medication Costs.” The Checkup, SingleCare Administrators, 28 Apr. 2022, www.singlecare.com/blog/adhd-medication-cost/
- “Telehealth Expansion Means Doctors Can Prescribe Across State Lines.” CHADD, 16 Mar. 2022, chadd.org/adhd-news/adhd-news-adults/telehealth-expansion-means-doctors-can-prescribe-across-state-lines.
- Staff, GreatSchools. “Questions to Ask Professionals Who Diagnose or Treat ADHD.” GreatSchools.Org, 4 Mar. 2010, www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/ask-professionals-who-diagnose-or-treat.
If you or someone you love would benefit from talking to a mental health provider in Tennessee, contact Athena Care.
One of our Care Coordinators will help you get the care you need.