Reply To: Vyvanse & Focalin

Penny Williams

There are things you can do to address the appetite loss side effect so that he can take an ADHD medication that is otherwise very helpful.

1. Let him eat when he’s hungry, and as much as he wants. Offer calorie-dense foods with lots of protein and healthy fats. We did protein shakes for breakfast for several years, with full fat milk, ice cream, peanut butter, protein powder and bananas.

What to Do When ADHD Meds Ruin Your Child’s Appetite

2. Cyproheptadine/Periactin is an old allergy medicine that is very commonly prescribed to kids taking ADHD medication to stimulate the appetite. My son took it for a year and gained 12-15 pounds, when he hadn’t gained anything in at least a year. It’s not used as an allergy medication anymore, because patients gained weight on it.

3. Vyvanse can also be titrated to a smaller dose in water.

Seeing a specialist is a good idea. Pediatricians just don’t have the expertise that comes from frequent experience treating ADHD.

ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism