The road to finding the right ADHD medication for your child can be bumpy. So how do you know when it’s time to talk to your child’s prescriber? Here are seven signs that your child’s medication dosage may need to be adjusted.
1. Changes in focus later in the day
You may notice improved focus in the morning. But then your child seems to lose those benefits by early in the afternoon. If so, it might mean that the morning dose is wearing off too quickly.
2. Persistent weight loss
Your child keeps losing weight, even after the first few weeks. It may be that the ADHD medication keeps your child’s appetite down at lunchtime and for most of the afternoon and evening. Some kids have a slower metabolism. Or the dose may be too high.
Your child seems too “wired” and irritable during most of the day when the medication is active. This might mean the dose is too high or it’s not a good medicine for your child.
4. Personality changes
ADHD medication isn’t supposed to change your child’s personality. You may notice that when the medication is active, your child’s focus is better. But if you also notice that your child’s personality seems different or “off,” the dose might be too high. Or the medication might not be a good fit.
5. Trouble with focus at homework time
Some kids function much better at school. But by late afternoon, they have a hard time getting homework done. If that’s what you’re seeing, your child may need a small “booster dose” to extend coverage.
6. “Crashing” during the day
Your child is very irritable, “wired,” or way too serious for several hours each day as the medication wears off. This may be a sign that the medication is dropping off too fast, causing a rebound effect. If so, a small dose of short-acting medicine about 30 minutes before the “crash” may help.
7. Trouble falling asleep
Your child may respond well to the medication during the day, but have trouble falling asleep. If you notice this, it could be a sign that your child’s ADHD medicine is lasting too long. Or your child may actually need a small dose of it closer to bedtime so they can focus on getting to sleep. Sometimes this extra dose helps to “turn off” the head.
Watch as an expert explains more about fine-tuning ADHD medication:
Understood is not affiliated with any pharmaceutical company.
About the author
About the author
The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.
Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, PhD, NCC, DCMHS, LMHC is an author, mental health counselor, and Florida Supreme Court certified family and circuit mediator. She specializes in anxiety, gaslighting, narcissistic abuse, and ADHD.