Back to School at
Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > ADHD > ADHD Treatments > ADHD Medications, Side Effects, and Family

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

ADHD Medications, Side Effects, and Family

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Eileen S. Marzola, Ed.D.

Q: My 10-year-old was just diagnosed with ADHD, combined type. She's on Ritalin and Clonidine. The medications are actually helping her. Are these drugs addictive? Will they affect her reproductive cycle, or prevent her from having a child? I feel as though I'm constantly defending my decision to my family and friends and that I'm not drugging my child. Any suggestions?

A: I have not seen any warnings on either of these drugs that refer to problems with a young woman's reproductive cycle, but this is something you should discuss with the doctor who prescribed and monitors her medication.

A major research study done by the National Institute of Mental Health (1999) was conducted with almost 600 children with ADHD (combined type) over a 14-month period. The results showed that children in the group treated with intensive behavioral management and carefully-managed medication and the treatment group that only received closely monitored medical management, had much greater improvement in their ADHD symptoms then the groups that received intensive behavior treatment alone or community care. We know from many studies that medication can have a powerful effect on the symptoms of ADHD, but each parent must discuss with her child's doctor the benefits and drawbacks of any medication considered.

More on: Expert Advice

For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks


Handwriting Headquarters
We've got handwriting practice worksheets, handwriting tips, and answers to your child's writing struggles, just in time for back to school. Brought to you by BIC.

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit to sign our petition to save handwriting!