Meds: Covering the School Day


"My son takes a small dose of Focalin each morning before school. His teacher says that he is a model student until around noon - then he starts to get "silly." What's going on?"

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

Focalin tablets typically last about four hours, so, odds are, it's simply a matter of his morning dose wearing off. Ask the doctor if your son should take a second dose around noon, or should switch to a long-acting stimulant medication that would cover the entire school day. If you decide on a noontime dose, your son should go to the nurse's office to take it.

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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