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ADHD is a treatable condition. If your child is offered medication, the different options will be discussed at your appointment. These may include:

  • stimulant medications
  • non-stimulant medications

You should be aware that ADHD medication will only manage ADHD specific symptoms such as attention or concentration.

Medication needs to be fully optimised to be worthwhile as a treatment for your child. In choosing to try medication, you need to be prepared to work with us to achieve the best outcome for your child. To do this, we use a process called ‘titration’.

What is titration?

Titration is the process that introduces your child’s body to medication safely, by slowly increasing the dose of a medicine by very small amounts over days, weeks, or even months, to find the right dose that is safe and effective for your child.

What appointments will I need to come to if my child starts medication?

After starting medication, our Neurodisability Specialist will give you a phone call appointment for a medicine titration clinic.  We will aim to call you within 6 weeks after the appointment where it was agreed for you to trial medication. 

During the medicine titration telephone appointment, we will assess your child’s response to the ADHD medication and adjust doses as required with the aim of optimising your child’s medication. This may result in another telephone appointment being requested within 3 to 6 weeks.

For these telephone appointments, it is not a requirement for your child to be present, although we will want you to capture their thoughts and experiences. Some older children may wish to be present.

We will need you to be in a suitable environment to answer specific questions to inform our team of the positives or improvements and any negatives or side effects your child experiences.

To continue medication, we must be sure there are more positives overall.

We will need to capture your views on what your child ‘looks like’ on medication and for you to answer some questions about ADHD symptoms. This means we ask you as parents or carers to make sure you take note of any changes when medication is working over the weekends and particularly after a dose change.

Many parents like to get pulse and blood pressure readings at home or at the pharmacy or GP practice in readiness for the appointment. This means that we can go ahead and make any changes when we speak to you. We can advise you on expected readings for your child and how to capture these, however if you prefer to come to us, we can arrange this.

Once we are satisfied that your child is on the right medication and dose (we refer to this as ‘stable and optimised on medication’) we can make a plan to meet at a face-to-face clinic.

Please note, the waiting time for titration appointments might be longer during medication stock shortages.

What if I need more medication for my child?

You can re-order ADHD medication at the same dose by ringing the 24-hour repeat prescription answerphone on 0114 271 7643.

Please order repeat prescriptions 10 working days before required.

In order for you to receive a repeat prescription, you must leave the following information:

  • your child’s full name, address, and date of birth
  • the name and dose of the medication they are taking
  • how many times per day your child takes the medication
  • how many tablets your child takes each day

Without all of the above medication, it will not be possible for us to send a prescription.

Prescription orders are processed each morning, Monday to Friday, and are usually posted out either the same or next working day.

Prescriptions are automatically posted by second class, this means you should: 

  • allow 7 working days for the prescription to arrive
  • state if you wish to collect the prescription directly from Ryegate when ordering the prescription

What are the side effects of ADHD medication?

We will discuss the possible side effects of ADHD medication with you at your child’s appointment when we first prescribe the medication. Most side effects are mild and can be managed.

We will also give you a leaflet about your child’s medication when you collect it from the pharmacy. Please read through this and contact us if there are any concerns.

How long should ADHD medication last?

These have varying durations of action and are tailored to your child’s waking day.

Stimulant medication

  • Delmosart – 12 hours
  • Concerta XL – 12 hours
  • Xaggitin XL – 12 hours
  • Meflynate XL – 8 hours
  • Medikinet – 4 hours
  • Medikinet XL – 6 hours (Food is required to activate this brand, therefore this must be taken with food)
  • Equasym XL – 8 hours
  • Elvanse (Lisdexampetamine) – 12 to 13 hours
  • Amfexa or Dexamphetamine – 4 hours

With stimulant medications, increasing calories before and after medication can help if there is appetite suppression, ideally aiming for the equivalent of 3 meals and snacks over a 24 hour period.

Non-stimulant medication

  • Atomoxetine
  • Intuniv

Non-stimulant medications will last approximately 24 hours and need to be taken consistently each day.

Can I stop my child’s ADHD medication?

If your child is on a stimulant medication, it is safe to stop their medication at any time on any dosage if needed. Your child will return to their typical ‘baseline’ on the same day as the medication wears off.

If your child is on non-stimulant medication called Atomoxetine, it is safe to stop at any time if needed.

If your child is on non-stimulant medication called Intuniv (prolonged release guanfacine), this should generally be reduced more slowly rather than stopping abruptly. During the UK ADHD medication stock shortages, we would recommend you keep enough medication to allow your child to reduce their dosage by 1mg every 3 days. You can talk to our Neurodisability Specialist about this at your child’s titration appointment.

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