A Weighty Concern

Q:

"My 9-year-old son has just been diagnosed with ADD. He is overweight, and we were told that a stimulant may also help control his appetite. Is this true?"

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

Yes, stimulant medications decrease some children's appetites. As long as your son was correctly diagnosed with ADHD, and if the physician follows a rigorous dosing process, appetite suppression could, in his case, be a tolerable side effect. But you should not look to this medication primarily for this effect, as there may be several reasons for his weight problem. You must address his weight problem separately from treating his ADHD.

Larry Silver, M.D., is 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. He is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
 
 
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