When ADHD Medicine Is Ineffective


"We've tried every ADHD medication on the market. Every three weeks, whichever one was most recently prescribed loses its effectiveness, the psychiatrist increases the dose until we see side effects, then we try a different one. Any suggestions?"

Dr. Larry Silver M.D. is the author of two books about parenting ADHD/LD children.

When I have tried "every medication on the market" at different doses and find that none works for a patient, I ask myself several questions. Did I make the correct diagnosis? Could the patient have ADHD plus one of the related disorders, and do these symptoms make it appear the medication is ineffective? Have I tried any of the nonstimulant medications, or just stimulants? Explore these questions with your psychiatrist.

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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