According to WebMD, there is no approved treatment plan for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder through the use of caffeine. Some studies have suggested that caffeine may have a similar effect on ADHD as pharmaceutical drugs, but Jane Collingwood, writing for Psych Central, explains that caffeine poses health risks to patients that make it an unappealing option in the long run, especially when paired with sugar consumption.
Doctors generally warn adults with ADHD against self-medicating their symptoms with caffeine, and parents are especially advised not to administer caffeine to their children with ADHD. Collingwood notes that the positive effects of caffeine are temporary and only last as long as the caffeine is in the system. For this reason, people who forgo the use of pharmaceutical drugs, such as Adderall and Ritalin, and use caffeine instead, find themselves consuming quantities of caffeine that can become extremely detrimental to their health.
The effectiveness of caffeine wears off with continual use, and a person can easily become addicted to it. Overuse of the substance can lead to heart palpitations, anxiety, muscle twitching, headaches and insomnia, notes Collingwood. Caffeine is not a long-term option for people who are managing ADHD symptoms, and withdrawal from the substance can be difficult. Anyone considering using caffeine to treat ADHD should speak with a doctor about it before self-medicating.