Published on ADDitudeMag.com

Outgrowing ADD/ADHD Medications?

"My ADD/ADHD son’s medication doesn’t seem to be working as well," one parent of an ADD/ADHD child tells us. "Could he have outgrown its beneficial effects?"

by William Dodson, M.D.


{{{#!html <p><a href="http://www.additudemag.com/channel/adhd-treatment/index.html" target="_blank">Treatment</a> guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that the dose of <a href="http://www.additudemag.com/channel/adhd-information/index.html" target="_blank">attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD)</a> <a href="http://www.additudemag.com/search/keyword/ADHD%20Stimulant%20Medications.html" target="_blank">stimulant medication</a> should be re-evaluated at least once a year in children under the age of 16. After that age, the dose of medication usually doesn’t change for the rest of the person's life. </p> <p>The big question is: What factors actually determine the optimal dose of <a href="http://www.additudemag.com/topic/adhd-treatment/adhd-medication.html" target="_blank">ADD/ADHD medication</a>? Most people and many clinicians believe that the dose is determined by the patient's weight. There has never been a study that showed a correlation between optimal stimulant dose and weight or any other factor, such as age, gender, or severity of impairments. </p> <p>Medication dosage is mostly determined by how efficiently the medication is absorbed from the intestines into the bloodstream. Another factor that determines a medication’s efficacy is how much of it makes it from the blood into the brain, where it affects neurotransmitter levels. Both of these factors change over time in children and adolescents.</p> <p>Stimulants should be fine-tuned to the individual's needs at different points in their development. The dose gradually fluctuates up and down as the person develops -- until around age 16.   </p> }}}


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