Can I Request a Higher Dose of My ADHD Medicine?


"I take a stimulant for ADHD, and I think I need a higher dose. I was diagnosed by a psychologist, and my doctor seemed cautious about prescribing this medication. How can I talk with him about raising my dose without his thinking that I’m an addict?"

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

The correct dose of any stimulant medication is not based on age or body weight, but on how quickly an individual absorbs the medication into the bloodstream. Traditionally, one starts at a low dose. This is increased about once a week until it reaches an effective level.

It’s rare that the first dose is the right one for an ADDer. Share this information with your family physician. (You might also show him my response to your question.) If this does not work, find a physician who is more experienced in treating ADHD.

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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