My child has an ADHD diagnosis. What's next?

If you have mixed emotions about your child’s ADHD diagnosis, you are not alone. In some ways, it may be a relief to have answers. You can start by separating facts from misinformation.

Patient images used on this site are for illustrative purposes only and do not represent actual patients.

Fact or Fiction?


ADHD prevalence

Fact or Fiction?

ADHD is common.

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ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that often gets identified during childhood, sometimes even before children start school.

6 Million+ US children have
an ADHD diagnosis

Types of ADHD

Fact or Fiction?

ADHD affects all children the same.

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There are actually three types, or presentations, of ADHD, which can affect children in different ways. And within each type, specific symptoms can vary.

Remember, only a doctor can diagnose ADHD. If you suspect your child may have ADHD, consult your child’s doctor.


A child with predominantly inattentive presentation may:

  • Often be easily distracted
  • Often fail to follow through on instructions
  • Often have trouble organizing tasks and activities
  • Often be forgetful in daily activities


A child with predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation may:

  • Often be “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”
  • Often fidget with or tap hands or feet, or squirm in seat
  • Often interrupt or intrude on others
  • Often talk excessively


A child with combined presentation has symptoms of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive presentations.

The above does not reflect all of the possible symptoms of ADHD as defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5).

Fact or Fiction?

ADHD symptoms may differ from setting to setting.

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Your child’s environment can influence the specific ADHD symptoms that are expressed. The tables below give an overview of how ADHD symptoms may look at home, school, and in social situations. ADHD symptoms vary by person. The symptoms presented here are as presented in the DSM-5.

Remember, only a doctor can diagnose ADHD. If you suspect your child may have ADHD, consult your child’s doctor.

At Home

Inattentive Hyperactive-impulsive
Often fails to finish chores, often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected, often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate

At School

Inattentive Hyperactive-impulsive
Often makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, often fails to finish schoolwork, often loses school materials Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed, often talks excessively

In a Social Setting

Inattentive Hyperactive-impulsive
Often has trouble holding attention on play activities Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly, often has trouble waiting their turn

The above does not reflect all of the possible symptoms of ADHD as defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5).

ADHD treatment

Fact or Fiction?

ADHD is most often treated with stimulants.

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Stimulants are the mainstay of ADHD medication, with the majority being either methylphenidates or amphetamines. Both work similarly in the brain, so which is used often comes down to drug form preference (ie, liquid vs pill) and how well a child responds to one versus another. You and your child’s doctor will work together to determine an appropriate medication choice for your child.

methylphenidate amphetamine

These commonly prescribed stimulants have been shown to be nearly twice as effective as some non-stimulant medications.*

*Based on meta-analyses when compared to nonstimulant norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (atomoxetine) and α2-adrenergic receptor agonist medications (guanfacine and clonidine) in symptom improvement and health-related quality of life outcomes in adult and pediatric ADHD patients.

Fact or Fiction?

The effects of some ADHD medications last longer than others.

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When it comes to medication duration, stimulants tend to fall into two categories: Extended-release medications and Immediate-release medications.

Extended release (ER)

  • Also called “long-acting” drugs
  • Typically taken once daily in the morning
  • May take effect gradually
  • Last all day, up to 13 hours

Immediate release (IR)

  • Also called “short-acting” drugs
  • May require more than one dose per day
  • May kick in quickly
  • Last for shorter periods of time, about 4-6 hours

Understanding the differences between ER and IR ADHD medications may help you weigh the benefits and drawbacks with your child’s doctor. For example, if you have a very young child, you may find that a stimulant lasting 13 hours is too long. You should work with your child’s doctor to determine whether an ER or IR medication is more appropriate for your child. Also, always be sure to inform your child’s doctor if your child is taking any other medications.

Fact or Fiction?

ADHD medication is only available in tablets and capsules.

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Some medications come in liquid formulations, which may make them easier for children to swallow compared to pills.

Remember, before your child begins taking an ADHD medication, always tell your child’s doctor about all of the medicines that your child takes, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Considering ADHD treatment for your child?

Discover ProCentra®
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Dextroamphetamine sulfate has a high potential for abuse and misuse, which can lead to the development of a substance use disorder, including addiction. Misuse and abuse of CNS stimulants, including dextroamphetamine sulfate, can result in overdose and death. This risk is increased with higher doses or unapproved methods of administration, such as snorting or injection.

  • Your healthcare provider (HCP) should check you or your child’s risk for abuse, misuse, and addiction before starting treatment with ProCentra and will monitor you or your child during treatment.
  • ProCentra may lead to physical dependence after prolonged use, even if taken as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Tell your HCP if you or your child have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines, or street drugs.

ProCentra (dextroamphetamine sulfate) is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it contains dextroamphetamine that can be a target for people who abuse prescription medicines or street drugs. Keep ProCentra in a safe place, like a locked cabinet, to protect it from theft. Dispose of remaining, unused, or expired ProCentra by a medicine take-back program at a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) authorized collection site. See Medication Guide or visit for additional information on disposal of unused medicines. Never give your ProCentra to anyone else because it may cause death or harm them. Selling or giving away ProCentra may harm others and is against the law. Keep ProCentra and all medicines out of the reach of children.

What is the Most Important Safety Information I Should Know About ProCentra (dextroamphetamine sulfate)?

ProCentra may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Heart related problems in people with serious cardiac disease. Sudden death has happened in people who have heart defects or other serious heart disease. Tell your HCP if you or your child have any heart problems, heart disease, or heart defects. Call your HCP right away or go to the nearest hospital emergency room (ER) right away if you or your child have any signs of heart problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting during treatment with ProCentra.
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate. Your HCP should check you or your child’s blood pressure and heart rate regularly during treatment with ProCentra.
  • Mental (psychiatric) problems, including new or worse behavior or thought problems, new or worse bipolar illness, new psychotic symptoms (such as hearing voices, or seeing or believing things that are not real) or new manic symptoms. Tell your HCP about any mental problems you or your child have, or about a family history of suicide, bipolar illness, or depression. Call your HCP right away if you or your child have any new or worsening mental symptoms or problems during treatment with ProCentra, especially hearing voices, seeing, or believing things that are not real, or new manic symptoms.
  • Slowing of growth (height and weight) in children. Children should have their height and weight checked often during treatment with ProCentra. Your HCP may stop your child’s ProCentra treatment if they are not growing or gaining weight as expected.
  • Seizures. Your HCP may stop treatment with ProCentra if you or your child have a seizure.
  • Circulation problems in fingers and toes (peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon). Tell your HCP if you or your child’s fingers or toes feel numb, cool, painful or change color from pale, to blue, to red or if they are sensitive to temperature. Call your HCP right away if you or your child have any signs of unexplained wounds appearing on fingers or toes during treatment with ProCentra.
  • New or worsening tics or worsening Tourette’s syndrome. Tell your HCP if you or your child have or had repeated movements or sounds (tics) or Tourette’s syndrome, or a family history of tics or Tourette’s syndrome.
  • Serotonin syndrome. A potentially life-threatening problem called serotonin syndrome may happen when ProCentra is taken with certain other medicines. Stop taking ProCentra and call your HCP or go to the nearest hospital ER right away if you or your child develop any of the following signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome: agitation, changes in blood pressure, coma, confusion, diarrhea, dizziness, fast heartbeat, flushing, high body temperature (hyperthermia), loss of coordination, muscle twitching, nausea, seeing or hearing things that are not real (hallucination), seizures, stiff muscles, sweating, tremors, vomiting.

Do not take ProCentra (dextroamphetamine sulfate) if you or your child:

  • are allergic to amphetamine products or any of the ingredients in ProCentra. See Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in ProCentra.
  • are taking or have taken within the past 14 days, a medicine used to treat depression called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), including the antibiotic linezolid or the intravenous medicine methylene blue.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines that you or your child take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

ProCentra and some medicines may interact with each other and cause serious side effects. Your HCP will decide if ProCentra can be taken with other medicines. Do not start any new medicine during treatment with ProCentra without talking to your HCP first.

Before taking ProCentra (dextroamphetamine sulfate), tell your HCP about all medical conditions, including if you or your child:

  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if ProCentra will harm the unborn baby. Tell your HCP if you or your child become pregnant during treatment with ProCentra.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. ProCentra passes into breastmilk. You or your child should not breastfeed during treatment with ProCentra. Talk to your HCP about the best way to feed the baby during treatment with ProCentra.

What are possible side effects of ProCentra (dextroamphetamine sulfate)?

The most common side effects of ProCentra are:

  • fast heartbeat
  • decreased appetite
  • tremors
  • headache
  • trouble sleeping
  • dizziness
  • stomach upset
  • weight loss
  • dry mouth

These are not all the possible side effects of ProCentra. If you or your child take too much ProCentra, call your HCP or Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the nearest hospital ER right away.

Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other potentially dangerous activities until you know how ProCentra affects you.

What is ProCentra (dextroamphetamine sulfate)?

Procentra is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant prescription medicine used for the treatment of a sleep disorder called narcolepsy and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in patients 3 years of age to 16 years of age. ProCentra is not for use in children under 3 years of age.

For additional safety information click here for the Full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide and discuss with your HCP.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Prasco is committed to helping ensure the proper use of stimulant medication. Resources are available on our website.

For more information about ProCentra and Dextroamphetamine Sulfate Oral Solution, call Prasco LLC at 1-866-525-0688.