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How Many Appointments Do I Need to Treat My Child's ADHD?
"Our pediatrician now requires my four ADHD sons to have their blood pressure, heart rate, and weight screened every three months. It's hard to schedule so many appointments. Is this really necessary?"
Rare side effects of ADHD medications include increased blood pressure or heart rate. More commonly, they can cause a loss of appetite or weight loss. While such close monitoring is not medically necessary, it sounds like your physician is being careful. Because it's the doctor's policy, you'll have to comply if you want your children to continue seeing that doctor.
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.