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Appetite Blunted By Meds
"Because my long-acting stimulant tends to blunt my appetite, I typically take it only on days when I have classes. Is that OK? The campus nurse says I should take my pill every day."
Unlike most antidepressants and the nonstimulant Strattera, stimulants do not need to build up in the body over days or weeks to start working. Your medication will remain effective even if you occasionally skip a dose.
Still, I urge you to ask your doctor about switching to a short-acting stimulant. That way, you could take a pill to cover a morning class or afternoon study session without losing your appetite for the entire day. Consider your schedule, decide when you need to be on medication (while writing papers, during classes, and so on), and plan coverage for these periods.
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.