Ask the Experts

Persistent Tics

“Help! My eight-year-old son developed a severe tic after he started taking a stimulant. He stopped taking it two months ago, but the tic hasn’t gone away.”

Tics brought on by medication typically go away within days or weeks of stopping the med. Since your son’s tic has persisted, there’s a chance that he was predisposed to tics and that the problem may never go away. Ask your son’s doctor about giving him clonidine (Catapres), risperidone (Risperdal), or guanfacine (Tenex), each of which has been shown to ease tics. I’d keep a child on meds for a month or so after the tics have faded. If the tic returns, the medication can be taken for a longer time.

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