The FDA recently approved the Monarch external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS) System to treat ADHD in children 7 and up. Since the annoucement we have received many requests for information on the system so we will summarize what we know so far here.
How does it work? The device uses electrical impulses to stimulate a nerve through an adhesive patch placed on the forehead for several hours a day.
Is it used with any medications? No, this is meant to be used as an alternative to medications and not to be used with ADHD medications.
Are there any side effects? Yes, as with any treatment this device has side effects including drowsiness, an increase in appetite, trouble sleeping, teeth clenching, headaches and fatigue.
Who should consider this device? Anyone who has not tolerated medications or has other issues with taking medications can give the device a try. Though it may seem easier to use a device than to take medications, it really depends on the family and child. Also, the cost of the device is generally higher than the cost of ADHD medications.