Are Dosages Based on Weight?


"My doctor weighed me before prescribing Strattera, but my friend, who takes Adderall, said that AD/HD medication dosages aren’t calculated by weight. What’s going on?"

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

Dosages of Adderall and other stimulant medications are determined not by weight but by the length of time it takes for the medication to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Strattera is a nonstimulant, and the dosage is based on body weight. Your doctor was correct to weigh you before determining your prescription.

At your next appointment with your doctor, ask him to show you the charts that indicate how much to prescribe, if you’re curious.

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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