Trying a New ADD Medication

If you're considering a switch from your or your child's ADHD drug due to side effects, here's what you should know.

Learn how taking a break from ADD ADHD meds affects treatment and symptoms. ADDitude Magazine

Are either you or your child managing attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) with medication that doesn't seem to be working quite right? Switching from one stimulant to another, or from a stimulant to a non-stimulant, is a pretty straightforward matter. Stimulants wear off rapidly, and they are completely eliminated from the body by the end of the specified duration (four, eight, or 12 hours). Thus, it is possible to stop a stimulant one day and start another stimulant (or non-stimulant) the next.

Switching from a non-stimulant is more complicated. Non-stimulants remain in the body for a long time, and the dosage must be reduced gradually, over several days.

In some cases, depending on the medications involved, it's possible to start taking a new med as you phase out the old. In other cases, you must be completely off one med before starting the next. Your doctor will tell you how to make this transition.

This article comes from the February/March 2006 issue of ADDitude.

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TAGS: Side Effects of ADHD Meds, ADHD Stimulant Medications, ADD Meds: Dosing, Nonstimulant ADHD Medications, ADHD Medication and Children

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