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Important Fact Sheet for Psychostimulant Use for ADD/ADHD

  1. Psychostimulants are a Schedule II, controlled medication with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration.) This means your provider cannot give refills for your psychostimulant unless a new prescription is written each time. Phone calls are not accepted at pharmacies for Schedule II medications. Many of the negative consequences that are attributed to psychostimulants are from their misuse by people without ADD/ADHD. Individuals with ADD/ADHD generally do not have the problems that result from the long-term use that misusers get from psychostimulants. HALL HEALTH MENTAL HEALTH CLINIC WILL NOT TOLERATE MISUSE, EVEN THE APPEARANCE OF MISUSE IS ENOUGH JUSTIFICATION TO CEASE STIMULANT TREATMENT.  THERE WILL BE NO REFILLS GIVEN FOR LOST OR STOLEN PRESCRIPTIONS. Do not give your medicine to anyone. Keep your medication in a safe place where others do not have access.
     
  2. Your insurance company may require prior authorization. You can pay cash for the prescription until we obtain prior authorization. Some companies make it very difficult to obtain authorization, so please have patience.
     
  3. There are some conditions that make psychostimulant use a real risk.
    • Uncontrolled blood pressure
    • Presence of irregular heartbeat
    • Structural heart abnormalities
    • Hyperthyroidism
    • History of drug abuse/psychosis and/or schizophrenia
    • Narrow angle glaucoma
    • Use of an MAOI in the last 14 days
       
  4. ADD/ADHD may co-occur with other psychiatric illnesses. Contact your provider immediately and give an accurate history of past psychiatric problems including drug and alcohol abuse, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and any psychotic episodes.
    • Medication titration schedules are necessary. There is usually a dose that works just right for an individual with ADD/ADHD. This dose varies a great deal from person to person. We generally start at a very low dose and increase the medication methodically, looking for a 4-6 hour effect with the short acting preparations and an 8-12 hour effect with the long-acting preparations.
    • Do not exceed your practitioner's orders while titrating your medication at anytime.
    • Do not increase your dose without consulting your practitioner after you're stabilized on your dose.
       
  5. Hall Health Mental Health Clinic requires 48-hour notice for refills. 
     
  6. Even though stimulants have a small chance of raising blood pressure, monitoring of blood pressure and pulse is very important. To obtain a valid blood pressure reading on your stimulant, the medication must be taken at least 1-2 hours before checking blood pressure. Please take a dose before your appointment so we can be certain that high blood pressure is not a problem.
     
  7. Common potential side effects of psychostimulant medications include:
    • decreased appetite,
    • weight loss,
    • insomnia,
    • abdominal pain,
    • dry mouth, and headache.

Side effects, if they occur, are generally not medically significant when the medication is taken properly and medically monitored.

  1. University of Washington Disability Resources for Students Office (DRS) (uwdss@u.washington.edu) is the agency that provides ADD/ADHD accommodations for classes. Hall Health Mental Health Clinic can medically treat the disorder and document the condition but cannot grant accommodations.
     
  2. Neuropsychological testing can be helpful at uncovering learning disabilities and discerning behavioral recommendations for ADD/ADHD that medications alone, may not address.

If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to call Hall Health Mental Health Clinic at (206) 543-5030.

Authored by: Hall Health Mental Health Clinic

Reviewed by: Hall Health Mental Health Clinic staff, January 2014