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A Guide to the Treatment of Adults With ADHD

Margaret D. Weiss, MD, PhD; and Jacqueline R. Weiss, MD

Published: March 1, 2004

Article Abstract

While child and adolescent physicians are familiar with the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivitydisorder (ADHD), many adult physicians have had little experience with the disorder. It is difficultto develop clinical skills in the management of residual adult manifestations of developmentaldisorders without clinical experience with their presentation in childhood. Adult patients are increasinglyseeking treatment for the symptoms of ADHD, and physicians need practice guidelines. AdultADHD often presents differently from childhood ADHD. Because adult ADHD can be comorbid withother disorders and has symptoms similar to those of other disorders, it is important to understanddifferential diagnoses. Physicians should work with patients to provide feedback about their symptoms,to educate them about ADHD, and to set treatment goals. Treatment for ADHD in adults shouldinclude a medication trial, restructuring of the patient’s environment to make it more compatible withthe symptoms of ADHD, and ongoing supportive management to address any residual impairment andto facilitate functional and developmental improvements.

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