Skipping Strattera Doses


"My 20-year-old daughter takes Strattera, but skips her medication on weekends. Is this risky?"

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

Possibly. Unlike the stimulant medications, which become effective within an hour or so and wear off within a given number of hours, Strattera works by building up to a therapeutic level in the body. This can take three weeks or longer, and the level must be maintained by taking the medication each day at around the same time. If your daughter goes off Strattera on weekends (or holidays), the level will drop and may take weeks to build back up.

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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