If a stimulant helps, does it mean I have ADHD?

August 14, 2019 adhd-drbarr
  • a dramatic response is very suggestive of ADHD, but not proof

Not necessarily. An ordinary person will feel more alert and focus longer, especially if they are tired – too many late nights or whatever. Dramatic responses to medication are suggestive but hardly proof of a diagnosis – grounds to investigate further.

We don’t use stimulants as a trial to see if someone has ADHD unless we already have a strong suspicion – but very occasionally there remains some uncertainty after a good workup and at that point I do sometimes trial the patient on stimulant medication, but this is AFTER the workup, never instead of it.

Category: Medication