Day 24: 31 Ways to Make ADHD Medication Less Scary Before Halloween

I'm afraid giving my child ADHD medication will change my child's major organs. Hi. It's Dr. James Wiley with Focus-MD. We're getting even closer to Halloween and another reason that parents fear the medication is that it's going to cause some sort of long-term change in their child's brain or organs and there's no evidence to show that this really does occur. In fact, once of the problems with the medication is that the ADHD symptoms return as soon as the medication is discontinued, and what I mean by that is that it doesn't seem to build up in the system or have any long term adverse effects. If we don't like the effects of the medicine, we simply stop it. There's no reason to ween it or decrease it over time in most cases, and generally the patient's side… Read More »

Day 23: 31 Ways to Make ADHD Medication Less Scary Before Halloween

Natural ADHD remedies scare Dr Wiley You know, we're only a little over a week from Halloween. And come to think of it, there is something I wish parents of my patients were more afraid of, and that's natural remedies for ADHD. First of all, there is no natural remedy for ADHD that's ever been found to be effective, and certainly not as effective as stimulant medication. But besides lack of efficacy, natural does not imply safe. Black widow venom is natural, but I wouldn't give it to any of my patients. My teenagers and young adults often remind me that marijuana is natural unlike the medications that I prescribe, which are not natural. But with all the debate about medical marijuana aside, I don't think most parents would like for their children to treat their ADHD with it. In addition,… Read More »

Day 22: 31 Ways to Make ADHD Medication Less Scary Before Halloween

Scared of ADHD making my child a skeleton Hi, I'm Dr. James Wiley. This morning, I had a patient's mother scared to death about the skeleton effect. She actually used that word. She said, "Dr. Wiley, I can count his ribs, as though he was a skeleton." I told her I was doing this series on Halloween, and pulled his growth chart up to reveal that his weight is in the 50th percentile. When we held his shirt up, you could indeed see his rib cage, but he was a fit, healthy, young man, with no worries about his growth or development. His linear growth was fine. This was very reassuring to his mother, who had always heard that stimulant medication would effect growth and weight gain. While it is true that, in the early going, weight loss is common,… Read More »

Day 21: 31 Ways to Make ADHD Medication Less Scary Before Halloween

I'm scared that we'll never find the right ADHD medication Hi. I'm Dr. James Wiley with Focus MD. It's easy to get discouraged, frustrated and even fearful that medicine trials are not leading in the right direction. We're not seeing the positive effects that we've seen in other children that have tried the medications. This is the time when parents become fearful that the ADHD is going to win the battle and that no medicine is going to be able to help. The truth is that medication almost always helps true ADHD and if medication is not helping we're probably barking up the wrong tree and may even have the wrong diagnosis. When I hear parents say, "Dr. Wiley, we've tried everything," I always take a closer look. Very often what's happened is that they've tried a dose or two… Read More »

Day 20: 31 Ways to Make ADHD Medication Less Scary Before Halloween

Non stimulant ADHD medication zombie horror story When we were talking horror stories, it seemed like I was picking on the stimulants a little bit. Both Concerta and Adderall had a horror story. But non-stimulants have horror stories too. Like the patient that I saw who had been on Strattera for years, and didn't blink and really had that zombie appearance that parents fear. The problem was he had it so long his parents had decided that this was normal and they weren't aware of his zombie-ish appearance. When I asked them how long he had been like this, meaning that he didn't blink and was very straight-faced, they said, "Like what?" But four weeks after stopping the Strattera when he was a regular ADHD teenager, they knew what I meant. Changing him to stimulants actually was the right thing… Read More »