After careful discussion with the child’s pediatrician about whether medication should be a part of the ADHD treatment plan, families and the pediatrician will need to decide what medication is best. The discussion should include a few key elements to help guide the decision:
- The age of the child
- Whether the child has tried any medications for behavior in the past and if so, what effects–both positive or negative–were seen
- How long the effects need to last (usually 8-12 hours)
- Whether the child can swallow a pill/tablet
Parents and the child will want to share their concerns about medicines (including anything you might have read or heard, if you know anyone who has experience with the medicine) and ask any and all questions.
I plan to start sharing new handouts I have developed and use in my own clinic for some of the more commonly used medications for behavior.
As a pediatrician, I like to try to use ONE medication to tackle multiple symptoms. Atomoxetine is a particular medication that is used for the treatment of ADHD, particularly if the child also has anxiety or depression. The information included on the Atomoxetine handout is what I typically review with families when we start this medication.
RELATED: Non-stimulant medications available for ADHD Treatment (HealthyChildren.org)
Please feel free to use this in your own practices or print it and share with family, teachers or your child’s doctor. I find that handouts that are simple to read helps to ensure understanding, can be shared easily and make sure everyone is on the same page.
ALSO, advice given on my blog about medications is NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ADVICE by your child’s physician. Always talk to your child’s doctor directly about their thoughts on the appropriate medicine and other treatments for your child’s ADHD. Medicine is just one type of treatments available.
RELATED: ADHD Medication Daily Routines (HealthyChildren.org)
RELATED: Mood disorders and ADHD (HealthyChildren.org)