The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and APA
have issued a new medication guide for parents and guardians of children with
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The guide contains an overview of the symptoms and neurological basis of
the disorder and detailed explanations about the types, effectiveness, and
side effects of ADHD medications. The guide also covers possible
comorbidities, psychosocial and behavioral interventions for the disorder, and
other resources such as readings for parents and children.
The guide's safety section addresses many parents' concerns about the side
effects and risks of ADHD medications and summarizes clinical evidence in an
easy-to-understand format. The guide is available in English and Spanish.
At the press conference to announce the guide's release, Adelaide Robb,
M.D., a child psychiatrist at Children's National Medical Center in
Washington, D.C., commented that this guide will be helpful to psychiatrists
because it gives parents a better picture of ADHD symptoms and the effects of
treatment, so that when children are referred to a psychiatrist, the parents
can educate themselves and are better prepared to ask questions. She pointed
out that the guide is also informative to adolescents and young adults who are
diagnosed with ADHD and are seeing psychiatrists for the first time.
"Most ADHD patients are seen and evaluated by primary care
providers," Read Sulik, M.D., medical director of the Child and
Adolescent Psychiatry Department at St. Cloud Hospital's Behavioral Health
Services in Minnesota, said at the press conference. An average visit is so
short that most primary care providers have little time to provide adequate
education and background information to parents and patients. "This
guide provides a tool to assist the providers in engaging the parents and
empowering [them] with consistent and sound information about ADHD and
treatment options," he said.
"Millions of American children and adolescents live with ADHD,"
said Thomas Anders, M.D., AACAP president. "The ADHD medication guide is
a user-friendly resource that will help parents make informed decisions for
"Medication Guide for Treating ADHD" is posted at<www.parentsmedguide.org/pmg_adhd.html>.▪