How to Work Out the Kinks in ADHD Drug Therapy

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ADDitude Magazine on Apr 15, 2013 at 1:22PM

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How to Work Out the Kinks in ADHD Drug Therapy

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Problem: ADHD Medication Doesn't Work All the Time

If your ADHD child is difficult in the morning: Think about how your attention deficit child acts when he is on ADHD medication and when he is not. Most problems occur before the medication starts working or when the dose doesn’t last the full four or eight hours noted on the label.
To keep your child calm and focused in the morning, wake her up an hour earlier than usual and give her the ADHD medication. Then, let her go back to sleep. If your child can’t go back to sleep, discuss using Daytrana, a methylphenidate patch, with your doctor. Apply the patch to your child’s thigh while she’s asleep, and the medication will start to work within an hour. (If you do this, an earlier afternoon dose may be needed.)

If your ADHD child crashes in the afternoon: Maybe there is a dip in coverage around noon, and your son has difficulties between 12 and 1. Maybe he begins to act up around 4 p.m., or bounces off walls around 8 p.m. Play detective to determine when his ADHD symptoms worsen. Maybe the four-hour tablet lasts only three hours with your child. Perhaps the eight-hour capsule you are giving him is not releasing evenly. Tell your physician when medication doesn’t work -- and he can reconfigure the dosage schedule or change the medication.

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