Five Guidelines for Adding a Medication

  1. A child should not begin taking two or more medications at the same time. Meds should be introduced one at a time, enabling you and your doctor to monitor any side effects that occur, and to measure the effects on his mood and behavior.
  2. If your child is taking more than one medication, dosages should be changed one at a time. It’s impossible to evaluate the effect of each change if more than one is altered.
  3. New medications should be added and dosage changes made when your child’s life and routine are as stable as possible. You want to avoid times like the start of a new school year, vacation, a move to a new home or a medical illness.
  4. When you change or add medications, it’s important to let everyone on your child’s team know — including her teachers and other caregivers — and check in to find out how she is doing.
  5. When you evaluate the effects of a medication, it’s important to note other changes in your child’s life at home and at school that might affect her emotions and behavior. Don’t assume that any change is a result of the medication.