Problem: ADHD Medication Doesn’t Work All the Time
If mornings are difficult: Think about how you or your child act when you're on ADHD medication and when you're 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 yourself or your child calm and focused in the morning, try to wake up an hour earlier than usual to take the ADHD medication. Then, go back to sleep. For children, if going back to sleep is difficult, 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 you or your child crashes in the afternoon: Maybe there is a dip in coverage around noon, and difficulties arise between 12 and 1. Maybe you begin to feel unfocused around 4 p.m., or completely wired and hyperactive around 8 p.m. Play detective to determine when ADHD symptoms worsen. Maybe the four-hour tablet lasts only three hours with you or your child. Perhaps the eight-hour capsule you are giving your son is not releasing evenly. Tell your physician when medication doesn’t work — and he can reconfigure the dosage schedule or change the medication.