5 Safety Rules for Using ADHD Medications

Deciding to treat ADHD symptoms with medication is not a cop out or a quick fix. Determining the right dosage of the right prescription is hard work. Follow these rules for dialing in the best treatment possible with the fewest side effects.

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ADHD Medication at School - Fall08

Rule 3: Medicate at School and Home

Try medication 7 days a week, 12 hours a day.

Although some studies suggest that skipping ADHD medication on weekends — called drug holidays — may reduce side effects without increasing symptoms, the experts we spoke with disagreed. They say that the disruptive symptoms of the condition extend beyond the classroom.

While taking ADHD medication at school helps a child behave in the classroom, extending medication beyond the school day has many advantages, including increased focus doing homework and during after-school activities, such as sports.

Did You Know: It’s not necessary to medicate a child during sleeping hours, but it helps if the medicine is active at bedtime.

Some doctors recommend combining a short- and longer-acting stimulant. According to some experts, some of the longer-acting medications last only eight or nine hours, not 12. Dr. Copps compensates for that shortfall by recommending that his patients take a short-acting Ritalin in the early morning or late afternoon.

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TAGS: ADHD Medication and Children, ADHD Stimulant Medications, ADD Meds: Dosing

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