Stimulants for Kids Who Can't Swallow Pills


"My 10-year-old can’t swallow the pill his doctor prescribed. It’s a long-acting stimulant, and our doctor says it’s the best one because it will cover the entire school day. What can we do?"

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

For a medication to be the “best” one, your son must be able to take it.

Ask your doctor about long-acting methylphenidate or amphetamine capsules, which can be broken open and the contents sprinkled over food. They provide between eight and 12 hours of coverage. Methylphenidate is also available as a skin patch, Daytrana, which provides up to 12 hours of coverage.

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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