While ADHD medication can help alleviate the symptoms of ADHD, it can also cause some side effects.
Once a child’s body is used to the medication, the side effects will start to wear off but until then, children will experience various levels of side effects that can range from mild to slightly more severe. Side effects can also go on for longer than just a few days, causing your child a lot of discomforts. You may even find that the medication might need to be adjusted or changed altogether if the side effects don’t disappear.
The 5 most common side effects of ADHD medication:
Side effects can vary between stimulant and non-stimulant medication but here are 5 of the most common side effects to be aware of:
1: Sleep issues. When a child first starts taking ADHD medication, they may have trouble falling asleep, an issue that can take up to two months to resolve. In order to help your child get as much quality sleep as possible, it may be a good idea to change up their bedtime routine to encourage calm and relaxation.
2. Decreased appetite. A decreased appetite is completely normal when children start taking ADHD medication but it’s important to still try and get them to eat something, however small, to help maintain their health and wellbeing until the side effects wear off.
3. Stomach cramps and nausea are other common side effects of ADHD medication. A hot water bottle will help reduce the cramps until your child’s body is accustomed to the medication.
4. Headaches can last for a few weeks when your child first starts taking ADHD medication. Ensure that your child takes the medication with food to reduce the severity of the headaches.
5. Mood swings. Parents should be prepared for the fact that their child might become more irritable and angry for no apparent reason. Until the side effects wear off, it’s important to be patient with your child and to practice empathy.
It’s important to keep an eye on any side effects and to speak to your doctor if they continue for long periods of time so that your prescriber can alter or change your child’s medication.
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