Answers to your questions..
1) Yes ofcourse this is the most effective and valued treatment option for ADD. I am equally surprised to notice that this was never suggested , may be you never had the opportunity to go to the specialist who deals with ADD , who is a child psychiatrist.
2) The decision of starting on the treatment will be mutual with a consensus reached between the taker that would be and your son and the child psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will start carrying out detailed interviews with your son and you , possibly using ICD 10 guidelines for diagnosis and then come to a conclusive diagnosis to rule in or rule out ADD. Once the ADD is confirmed he shall explain to you the options which he can offer in terms of treatment of the condition which shall entail all these mentioned drug options. The decision on which drug will be made after your and your son's consent to start on the same.
3) Well as such there are not any major side effects , but yes some common initial side effects are -- nausea, dizzy spells , insomnia , headache , which usually subside in a week or two once the drug gets adjusted within the body system.
4) Well amphetamines are addictive only if they are used callously adn unsupervised , but here you may act as guide to your son's mdrug regime and regulate the drug intake.So i do not think this will be a problem.
5) No your son will not be addicted to the drugs , just come to think of it , ADD is so common and almost all the effected kids and adults use these drugs but the ratio of their dependence on this drug regime is not so common, please do not worry about that and take the extra effort to supervise his intake of drug , which anyways will be taken before leaving to school in the morning.
6) Atleast 6 months
7) No, psychotherapy is a different mode of treatment and it's start and stop is not connected with the drug treatment. Actually tell you a fact , it may so happen as it usually happens in almost all cases of ADD , that there is an inherent deficit of neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain like dopamine , which can only be fulfilled by intake of above mentined drug , psychotherapy has no ability whatsoever to compensate for the deficiency of brain chemical. So psychotherapy shall be continued or decided to be stopped irrespective of this drug treatment.
I hope this helps.
Wish you all the best .
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