Medication for Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Medication for oppositional defiant disorder is not the first treatment option, as much as it is for treating other mental illnesses. This is due to the uncertainty regarding the causes and physiology of ODD.

Research has not identified a chemical imbalance or other physical trait that could be pointed to as a cause of ODD. Thus, the FDA has not

approved any specific medication for oppositional defiant disorder. Most physicians prefer to prescribe therapy, as is described on our parenting page.

ADHD Meds Offer Help

Even in the absence of approved oppositional defiant disorder medication, some meds have helped kids with ODD by reducing or eliminating their symptoms. These meds are more often prescribed for kids who are diagnosed with ADHD and other disorders.

ADHD is a frequent comorbidity with ODD, as are other disorders. Even when the child with oppositional defiant disorder has no other mental illness, the ADHD medications can sometimes still benefit the child by alleviating their symptoms.

Some examples of these meds are Risperdal, Strattera, and divalproex which is sold under the name Depakote. Another medication, Ritalin, has shown some success in reducing ODD symptoms, in limited studies using children with both ADHD and ODD.


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