Ask the Experts

Stimulants for Kids Who Can’t Swallow Pills

“My 10-year-old can’t swallow the pill his doctor prescribed. It’s a long-acting stimulant, and our doctor says it’s the best one because it will cover the entire school day. What can we do?”

For a medication to be the “best” one, your son must be able to take it.

Ask your doctor about long-acting methylphenidate or amphetamine capsules, which can be broken open and the contents sprinkled over food. They provide between eight and 12 hours of coverage. Methylphenidate is also available as a skin patch, Daytrana, which provides up to 12 hours of coverage.

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