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Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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what supplements or med can I take w/o a prescription

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what supplements or medication can I take or buy without a Prescription to help with my a.d.d. Symptoms and improve my concentration and focus? I don't have insurance and live on my own with a less than $450 a month salary.
Hi there,

Some natural supplements might help improve your symptoms - many people with ADHD who prefer to avoid negative side effects of certain medications use these supplements with some success. However, since most supplements are not regulated by the FDA, I do have to advise you to discuss the use of any supplements with your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you are currently taking any medication or over-the-counter supplements, herbs (including pain killers, etc.) And you should not combine these supplements without consulting your doctor as well.

That being said, some people use Gingko Bilboa to improve concentration and focus - it's a natural herb that has been shown to be effective for ADHD, (especially when combined with ginseng) - and it is used by people both with and without ADHD to promote increased concentration and focus. You can read a bit more about its effectiveness for ADHD here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1408291/?tool=pubmed


Another supplement to try is called Pycnogenol - it is an herbal supplement made from bark of a specific type of pine tree. There's not a lot of clinical evidence to support its effectiveness, but some people with ADHD have experienced benefits from its use. Youc an read more about it here:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/1019.html


Many people find that fish oil (Omega-3's) helps improve focus and concentration - this has been widely tested in clinical trials for people with ADHD and has shown some promise - and it also provides many other health benefits. It helps promote cardiovascular health and may prevent or help mild to moderate depression.

You can purchase these herbs in vitamin and nutrition stores, and in most commercial drug stores. Remember that there are not as many clinical trials evaluating herbs and non-prescription supplements because of the influence of the big pharmaceutical companies.

I hope this helps. Please reply to this message if you have any additional questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Are there any prescription strength supplements that would help? Strattera gave me no relief. I did a small stint on adderall But found the effects of the drug to be a little overpowering.
Hi again,

The problem with supplements is that they're not regulated - and like medication, everyone responds to them differently. So it's often a matter of trial and error before you find the right supplement for you. The most effective supplement (and the most studied) is Omega-3 - at least, this is the case from the research I've done and from what I've seen. If you have an omega-3 deficiency, symptoms of ADHD can be exacerbated (and this is a pretty common deficiency) - and omega-3 supplementation is as effective as medication for many people (see this clinical review for evidence - although studies are ongoing and this isn't the final say by any means:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16777670)

So it's possible that there is an underlying nutritional deficiency that is causing your symptoms - and especially if prescription medication isn't quite helping. Omega-3 fatty acids are relatively inexpensive - so this might be worth a shot first to see if your symptoms improve. You might want to read this to learn more about dosing information and so forth:
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm/

But again, the problem is that because supplements aren't regulated like medication - there's no "official" recommended dosage. I do think this would be beneficial for you given your financial situation - but again, this is just for information purposes only and you would have to discuss the use of any supplements with your doctor.
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