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Psychotropic Drugs in Children: Responding to Parents Questions

Psychotropic Drugs in Children: Responding to Parents QuestionsFreeman recommends that the physician should be prepared for a potential barrage of questions by the enlightened parent consumer. Such questions may include any or all of the following:

  • How do drugs change behaviour?
  • My child has brain damage. Will he react differently?
  • Should something else be tried first?
  • Which behaviour should be treated first?
  • How quickly will the drug take effect?
  • Are drugs abused by teachers? Institutions?
  • What are the different kinds of drugs?
  • What changes can I expect at adolescence?
  • Are all brands the same?
  • How long will she have to take the drug?
  • How many drugs can he take at the same time?
  • How many times a day does she need to take it?
  • How do the drug doses differ from adults’?
  • What time does he take them in relation to meals?
  • Are drug samples ok?
  • Should parents adjust dosage?
  • Should drugs be discontinued suddenly?
  • Why do stimulants slow down hyperactivity?
  • Will she become addicted to this or other drugs?
  • What side-effects can I expect?
  • Do other drugs interact with this one?
  • What side-effects mean that we should stop giving the drug?
  • What examinations or blood tests will he have to take? How often?
  • Will she become dazed or “out of it”?
  • Will it slow down his learning?
  • When will you want to change dosage?
  • Will it affect her nutrition?

A simple time-saving technique that may anticipate most questions is to provide the family with a drug information pamphlet. The parents should be advised to read the pamphlet and then to ask questions.

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