Medication FAQ Resource
If you’re interested in learning more about medication-based treatment, you’ve come to the right place.
Table of contents
What can I expect from starting medication?
At Frida, we only prescribe medication, if it is found to be something our clinical teams feel would be helpful for you. They may also prescribe non-medication-based treatments. Should you be recommended a medication, we will bring you into our Continuous Care program and begin a process we call “titration”.
Titration is where we adjust your dosage, time of administration, and type of medication(s) according to your personal medical history, needs, and body. We start at low doses and check in with you every 3-4 weeks to see how you are doing, reassess medically, and will work with you to increase the dose or change the frequency and time of dose as necessary until you feel good about the impact your medication has on your life.
Are the medications I will be treated with safe?
At Frida, we start with low doses and work closely with you to titrate your dose at both the time and frequency of administration as well as the dosage level to find what works best for you. We do this with your safety and well-being in mind. In starting at lower doses, we find what works and prioritize your safety and well-being as well.
Is there a risk that I will become addicted to my medication?
As with any other substance, if misused or abused, there can be risks associated with the medications that treat ADHD. However, there is no evidence that suggests using stimulant medications as prescribed for ADHD increases your risk of developing substance use disorders. (source)
In addition, with the support of Frida’s clinical team and the regular, consistent check-ins you will have, our care team will work closely with you to ensure the prescribed dosage is working for you.
What if I later decide I want to reduce or come off of my medication entirely?
It is always your choice whether you want to continue with your medication and/or how much. It’s important to us that you feel comfortable with the choices you make for your health and well-being. Should you decide you prefer to reduce your medication or to come off it completely, our Frida clinical team will support you through titrating down your medication.
What is the effectiveness of medication? What does it do for me?
There is no one-size fits all solution for the treatment of ADHD, nor is that our objective. We want to help you find your optimal zone of focus in your work and life, and medication can be helpful tool to help you with this. Similar to how some people need corrective eyewear to help them with their eyesight, ADHD medications can help with executive function and helping you better focus on the things you wish to focus on, when you want to focus.
For most Frida patients, this is the most pronounced impact of taking medication. They often report back better balance, focus, and sense of agency. Where they don’t feel overwhelmed or over and under-stimulated to do the things they feel they want to do. For most, medication can be very effective and have a significant impact as a tool they can access if they choose or need to for their every day lives.
What symptoms can I expect from my medications?
Depending on your medication, you may experience some side effects. Side effects vary and are very personal to the person. For a more detailed description of potential side effects, by medication, we have provided Medication Information Sheets from our pharmacy partner on our “Patient Resources” page that you can find here.
Some common side effects may include:
|Body System||Side Effects||Psychostimulants|
|Cardiovascular system||Blood Pressure (BP) and Heart Rate (HR) decrease|
|BP and HR increase||✓|
|Gastrointestinal System and Nutritional Disorders||Appetite suppression||✓|
|Constipation / Diarrhea||✓|
|Nausea / vomiting||✓|
|Nervous System and Psychiatric Disorders||Anxiety||✓|
|Dysphoria / irritability||✓|
|Other||Decrease in weight||✓|
Whether they occur, and how they are experienced, if they do, are different for different people. It will be best to talk to your doctor or Frida clinician further about this if you have any more questions.
Are there any over-the-counter medications to avoid when taking medication for ADHD?
There are no specific over-the-counter (OTC) medications to avoid when taking medication for ADHD. However, some OTC drugs, such as cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine, can potentially interact with ADHD medications or worsen symptoms. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any new medication alongside your ADHD treatment.
Can I continue to take natural supplements or vitamins when taking medication for ADHD?
Generally, you can continue to take natural supplements or vitamins when taking medication for ADHD. However, certain supplements may interact with your ADHD medication or affect its efficacy. Consult your healthcare provider before starting or continuing any supplements to ensure they're safe and won't interfere with your ADHD treatment.
Is it safe to take melatonin with my ADHD prescription?
It is generally considered safe to take melatonin with your ADHD prescription, as it can help regulate sleep patterns often disrupted by ADHD symptoms. However, as individual cases may vary, it's always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.
I plan to consume alcohol, marijuana or other recreational drugs. Can I still take my ADHD medication?
Long acting stimulants act as central nervous system stimulants, whereas alcohol is a central nervous system depressive - which can be counterproductive to treating your ADHD. Alcohol also increases stress on your cardiovascular system - if you are already monitoring your blood pressure and/or heart rate closely on a stimulant medication , it’s probably a good idea to refrain from drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol while taking a long acting stimulant can lead to unexpected intoxication outcomes. For example, if you have a reduced appetite due to your stimulant medication and are eating less, you may not be able to tolerate the same amount of alcohol you drank prior to starting your stimulant medication.
In general, we suggest that if you have an event at which you will be drinking more than you usually do, don’t take your medication on that day. To summarize, consume alcohol with caution and in moderation, especially if you are still titrating your medication, to ensure you know how it will affect you.
In regards to cannabis, the limited research on effects of cannabis in individuals with ADHD suggests a negative impact on neuropsychological functioning. The Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance recommends individuals with ADHD avoid cannabis due to risks of lower educational attainment, impaired motivation and increased risk of psychosis. CBD use is preferred over THC, try and plan use for the evening/bedtime rather than in the morning/daytime to avoid counteracting medication effects during the day.
How does exercise or caffeine affect my ADHD medication regimen?
Exercise can have a positive impact on ADHD symptoms and may complement your medication regimen. However, caffeine can interact with some ADHD medications, potentially increasing side effects or diminishing their effectiveness. Consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice on exercise and caffeine consumption while taking ADHD medication.
Is there a difference between generic vs brand ADHD medications?
The main difference between generic and brand-name ADHD medications is typically the price, with generic medications being more cost-effective. Both versions contain the same active ingredients and meet the same quality and safety standards. However, some individuals may experience slight differences in the medication's effectiveness or side effects due to variations in inactive ingredients.
What should I do if I miss a dose of my ADHD medication?
If you miss a dose, it's important to consider the timing since the medication is active for 10-16 hours after ingestion. These medications should be taken in the morning. If you remember the missed dose later in the day, you may want to wait until your next scheduled dose, as taking it too late may cause difficulty sleeping. To prevent missed doses, consider setting an alarm or incorporating your medication intake into your daily routine, such as taking it while brushing your teeth.
Can Frida clinicians prescribe treatments for other conditions besides ADHD?
Frida clinicians can prescribe treatments for other mental health conditions that are safe to be treated via telehealth for example depression and/or anxiety. Mental health conditions that require in person care or specialty services are outside of the scope of Frida such as schizophrenia or bipolar.