Medications Prescribed for Children with Depression, Anxiety, or ADHD
One in ten of America’s children has an emotional disturbance such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression or anxiety, that can cause unhappiness for the child and problems at home, at play, and at school. Many of these children will be taken by their parents to their family physician or pediatrician, or, in many cases, a specialist in child mental health. The child will be carefully evaluated and may begin some type of therapy. There are many treatment options available. Choosing the right treatment for your child is very important. Each child is different. At times, psychotherapies, behavioral strategies, and family support may be very effective. In some cases, medications are needed to help the child become more able to cope with everyday activities.
If you are planning to have a doctor see your child, you should share a record of any of your child’s medical problems, any medications your child is taking, including over-the-counter medications or vitamin and herbal supplements, and any allergic reactions your child has suffered. If a medication is prescribed for your child, there are certain questions you should ask. It will be helpful to take notes as it is easy to forget exactly what the doctor says.
What is the name of the medication and how will it help my child? Is the medicine available in both brand-name and generic versions, and is it all right to use the less expensive (generic) medication? What is the name of the generic version? Is it all right to switch among brands, or between brand-name and generic forms?
What is the proper dosage for my child? Is the dose likely to change as he or she grows?
What if my child has a problem with the pill or capsule? Is it available in a chewable tablet or liquid form?
How many times a day must the medicine be given? Should it be taken with meals, or on an empty stomach? Should the school give the medication during the day?
How long must my child take this medication? If it is discontinued, should it be done all at once or slowly?
Will my child be monitored while on this medication and, if so, by whom?