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What if my teenager refuses to take his medication for ADHD?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Invite your teenager to play an active role in determining the most trouble-free treatment for their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). At this age, young people are often trying to communicate their independence, and they may resist doing what their parents tell them. This means that they might refuse to take their medication every day.

Let your teenager visit with the doctor alone, which may help him or her to feel more in control of the treatment process. Encourage the doctor or psychologist to education your teen about the benefits that ADHD medications provide.

If your teenager really feels that they do not need the medications anymore, allow the doctor to guide them in reducing their medication dosage. You and your teen can observe any changes in behavior or school performance while the medication dose is reduced. Based on these observations, you may be okay with your teen taking less medication, or you both may realize that the medication is necessary.

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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.