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Can you recommend any over-the-counter supplements for ADHD?

Can you recommend any safe and effective supplemental products for the treatment of minor distractability/hyperactivity as well as mood/temper/anxiety?

I have seen a product called Native Remedies that has Focus Formula and Bright Spark for attention and Mind Soothe Jr for mood. My son has the tendency toward hyperactivity and daughter has strong reactions and emotions when faced with adversity.


Greg Severson | Pediatrician

Greg Severson

I would be very cautious about using these products in a child.  Let me explain my rationale. 

Before a drug is approved for use by the FDA, the pharmaceutical company marketing the drug will perform multiple studies and collect data to document the drug's effectiveness and safety. 

This data is presented to the FDA when a company is seeking approval to market the drug in this country. The FDA goes through an exhaustive review of the data before approving the sale of a drug.  The results of the studies are published and readily available to physicians, treating patients. 

There are many herbal products sold in this country.  They are derived from plant and animal products. The companies who produce them, market them as food additives and not drugs or medications.  Plant and animal products however contain multiple chemicals, some very powerful.  A food additive does not have to list every chemical it contains. As a result when taking an herbal product a person may unknowingly be exposed to a chemical.  

Herbal products claim to treat many conditions. Since they are not classified as drugs or medications they do not have to prove effectiveness or safety. Rarely are there studies to support their claims. If there are studies they often have not been done with the same standards used to evaluate drugs or medications.

I therefore tell my patients to be very cautious of herbal products from both a safety and effectiveness standpoint. Without studies to show effectiveness and safety I am unable to evaluate or recommend these products for my patients.

There are many safe and effective drugs that are available to help children with ADHD and anxiety. If you need more information, please contact your health care provider.

Read more answers by Dr. Severson