Should My Grandson Be a Zombie?


"Last night I observed my grandson about 2 hours after he took his medication for ADD. It broke my heart to see how it made him into a zombie! Should medication cause this drug-induced haze?

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

Since I have grandchildren as well, I understand your pain. Please remind your grandson's parents that being flat or "zombie-like" is an unacceptable effect of stimulant medication and means that the dose is too high for the child. Either the dose should be lowered or a different medication tried.

Please stress that our goal with medication for ADHD is to minimize the ADHD behaviors WITHOUT causing side effects.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.
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