A conversation I often had about any medicine, including for ADHD
“What are the side effects of that medicine, Doc?”
“That’s the wrong question.”
“What do you mean?”
“You want to know what are the possible side effects and what are the chances you will get any of them.”
All medicines have possible side effects. So does water, for that matter. And so do all the alternatives, supplements, naturals, etc. The drug companies are required to list all the effects that someone, somewhere, sometime had that might possibly have been due to the medicine.
That does not mean that you, or your child, will get them.
You want to know the percentages. Did half the people who took this medicine get this side effect, or was it one in two million people? So what are the chances you will get it? And how serious is it?
“I don’t want to take that medicine, Doctor. I don’t want to gain weight.”
” You won’t gain weight on it.”
“But you said weight gain was one of the side effects!”
“No, I said weight gain was one of the possible side effects. There’s a 50% chance you would start to gain weight on it. There’s a 50% chance you wouldn’t. If you start to gain weight, we’d stop the medicine. So, either way, you won’t gain weight.”
Common misconceptions about medicines and side effects:
- If a medicine has a side effect listed, that means if you take the medicine you will get the side effect.
- If you get a side effect, you’re stuck with it forever.
1. “Side effects” are only possible side effects. That does not mean you will get them.
2. If you do get side effects, often they will go away or improve in about 10 days with most psychiatric meds. This is less true with stimulants.
3. If you get side effects, we can often manage them by changing the dose and/or the timing of the med.
3. If they are too bad, or if they don’t improve enough, we’ll stop the medicine.
4. If we stop the medicine, the side effects will soon go away. There are rare possible exceptions but none for ADHD meds.
Everyone is different and unique, and we don’t know how a medicine will work for you until we try it. I believe that everyone with ADHD deserves a try of medication.
Quote O the Day:
“My short term memory is shot, and besides that, I can’t remember things.”
I don’t recall who this quote is from.
Personal Notes O the Day:
Your Life Can Be Better, second edition, and Alma Means Soul are both in the hands of helpers now. Hope both can be published within next two months. Excited.
Thinking of doing series on ADHD science, meds, and emotions. Maybe. I’m running out of poems, maybe you’re just as glad.
For Scott: Dinos recommends Google Keep. See Comment
Follow up O the Day:
@addstrategies #adhd #add @dougmkpdp