If you have been told that your child would benefit from taking medication there are some things you need to know. In my latest book, “When Kids Need Meds; Everything You Need to Know about Psychiatric Medication and Youngsters” I have prepared a 13-step guide that will help you alleviate some of your concerns and answer your questions about the medications. I am sharing the guidelines in a three blog series this week. This is the third, and final, blog in the series. Below is a link to the first two blogs. Please share the series with others who have concerns about medications prescribed for their children and teens and email me your questions and concerns.
(The guidelines listed are a continuation from my two previous blogs).
10. Tell your child’s doctor about any other medications, supplements, or home remedies your child is receiving to be sure there are no adverse interactions with the prescribed medication. Remember even natural remedies can cause interaction problems.
11. Never compare dosages in milligrams between medications; they all differ and cannot be compared because of potency differences in the manufacturing process. Thus, one milligram of one medication might equal in efficacy ten milligrams of another. For example, I recently had to explain to a patient that the new medication I was giving was measured in one-half to two-milligram dosages and was replacing one that measured about thirty milligrams. It was simply another compound whose potency was measured differently.
12. Be prepared for your child’s doctor to recommend more than one medication. This use of multiple medications has become more common, as it sometimes gives better results. There are, however, risks to this practice that your doctor will need to explain. Risks include medication interaction, increased safe side effects, as well as decreased compliance because of the difficulty some patients have with multiple prescriptions. Always find out why your doctor is prescribing multiple medications and ask specific questions about the benefits and risks of such prescribing.
13. Always trust yourself and all the knowledge you have about your child. No one knows your child better than you! Making you the best resource for observing side-effects, therapeutic effects, and the overall well-being of your child. Don’t be intimidated. Call your psychiatrist with any concerns.
As part of National Mental Health Awareness Month I am offering free copies of my book. Please email me if you’d like a copy.
This blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical or psychiatric advice for individual conditions or treatment and does not substitute for a medical or psychiatric examination. A psychiatrist must make a determination about any treatment or prescription. Dr. Paul does not assume any responsibility or risk for the use of any information contained within this blog.