Ask the Experts

Concerta for Aggressive Behavior?

“My 6-year-old son is taking Depakote for seizures. But we soon observed that the Depakote caused him to be more aggressive, and the doctor prescribed Concerta to counteract that behavior. Is this the correct treatment plan?”

Concerta is not used to treat aggressive behavior, nor is it meant to substitute for behavior modification. Concerta is, chemically, the same medication as Ritalin, and it is used only to treat ADHD. Thus, I am confused as to why your son is taking this, since you didn’t mention any diagnosis of ADHD.

Please raise your concerns with the doctor who prescribed both of the medications, or contact a specialist. If Depakote makes him more aggressive, it would be important to see a child and adolescent psychiatrist to find out why.