Day 14: 31 Ways to Make ADHD Medication Less Scary Before Halloween

"I just don’t like having my child on any medication, much less ADHD medication" Everyday in our practices at Focus MD, we hear the same things from parents, "I don't like my child having to take medication, and I especially don't want them to take ADHD medication," and we certainly understand that. I've listened to a lot of parents of diabetic patients, question if they would ever really be able to give their child a shot or check their blood sugar as well. Parents have a justifiable concern about the medication and it being used correctly. But in the end, stimulant medication is the treatment of choice for ADHD and making friends with that decision can be life changing for your child. I want you to know that the other truth is that it's really not a choice about whether… Read More »

Day 13: 31 Ways to Make ADHD Medication Less Scary Before Halloween

"I’m anxious about abuse of ADHD medication." Hi, I'm Doctor James Wiley with Focus MD. I want to share one of our biggest fears about ADHD medication, and that's the risk of abuse and diversion. Patients are giving their medicine away to the people who don't have ADHD or diversion of medication to patients for performance enhancement. This is the reason that we insist on such a careful, evidence based diagnosis before prescribing ADHD medication at Focus MD, and we also insist on very careful follow-up, so that we can monitor for the risk of abuse and diversion of the medication. We take this very seriously. The medication is Schedule II by the FDA, so that means it's more closely regulated and our licenses depend on us being responsible with that medication. It is a growing epidemic across college and… Read More »

Day 12: 31 Ways to Make ADHD Medication Less Scary Before Halloween

"I’m terrified to titrate the dose of ADHD medication up.  Isn’t less better?" When it comes to ADHD medication, some parents are just terrified to titrate. What I mean is, they're afraid to go up on the dose of medication to a level that might be ideal for treating their child's ADHD because they're bumping up against a glass ceiling of fear when it comes to side effects. An ADHD physician who knows what he or she is doing isn't afraid to go up on the medicine, because they are also not afraid to go right back down if you experience side effects. Keep in mind that most patients have their ADHD undertreated because of this fear. We would never do that with a diabetic patient. We're going to get the blood sugar normal, even if it means placing the child… Read More »

Day 11: 31 Ways to Make ADHD Medication Less Scary Before Halloween

"How much ADHD medication? That sounds like a lot!" When it comes to ADHD medication, there's a big fear of big numbers. In other words, parents prefer that their children be on low doses of medication, unfortunately this leads to under treatment of ADHD in many cases. While we all fear side effects, especially the zombie effect, remember that most children's ADHD is inadequately treated by the amount of medicine that they're on, and big numbers need not be scary. ADHD medication is not dosed based on age or size, but rather by GI metabolism and absorption. You need to know that the amount of medication is not dependent on how severe the ADHD is either. So it's a very individualized dose that has to be arrived at by careful titration, looking for side effects vigilantly, and looking for improvement… Read More »

Day 10: 31 Ways to Make ADHD Medication Less Scary Before Halloween

"I’m fearful that my child will need to be on ADHD medication forever." Parents are often concerned that once we start ADHD medication that it's a lifelong commitment. They often want to know, will they be on ADHD medicine forever? And the answer is, we don't know. ADHD was previously diagnosed between ages 6 and 16, as though it magically appeared in first grade and went away the day the child got a driver's license. We now know that it's not true. The American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement says that ADHD can be diagnosed as young as age 4 and we know that the largest increase in diagnosis are coming in the adult population, folks that have had ADHD forever, and are tired of the frustration that it has brought to their lives. So we know that ADHD is… Read More »