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How often will we need to meet with the doctor about my child’s ADHD?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
You can decide how often you would like to meet with a doctor to discuss your child's treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In a large study, the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD, parents met with their children's doctors each month to discuss their children's progress. During these meetings, the parents and physicians would discuss behavior changes, setbacks, and side effects of the medications. The doctor would decide whether to adjust the child's medication dosage based on these discussions. At the end of the study, the children who had these frequent doctor visits during the study were rated as more similar to their non-ADHD peers than the children who only had one or two doctor visits per year.

However, it may be impossible for many families to see their children's doctors every month. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents, at a minimum, try the following to achieve the best results from ADHD medications:

- Give your child's medication during all situations that your child needs it.
- Try to see your child's doctor as often as you can to discuss your child's progress.
- Use the medication as prescribed, at the optimal dose that your child's doctor recommends.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

When your child first starts taking ADHD medications, you may need several doctor visits in a fairly short period to find the right dosage and maybe the right drug. After that, your doctor will probably want to have regular visits to make sure the dose is still working and to check on your child’s growth, but that will be up to you and your doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.