How to Stop Appetite Loss

Filed Under: Side Effects of ADHD Meds, ADHD Medication and Children

Q:

"I’m worried about my 10-year-old. He hasn’t gained any weight in the two years he’s been taking a stimulant, even though we’ve worked with a nutritionist to add calories to his diet."

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

I share your concern. Appetite loss, a common side effect of stimulant medications, usually goes away within a few weeks (or, as you know, can be managed by ensuring that enough calories are taken in). Since it’s been two years, and calorie supplementation hasn’t helped your son, I urge you to talk to your doctor about switching to another medication.

Some children who experience appetite loss while taking one stimulant do fine on a different one. If switching stimulants doesn’t help, ask the doctor about a nonstimulant.

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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