By R. Scott Benson, M.D.
As a child and adolescent psychiatrist I talk to many parents about treatment options for their children. Whether it be talk therapy or medication, any recommendation for treatment should be based on a thoughtful evaluation.
If medication is recommended, parents find the following questions help in navigating this process. This dialogue with your child's doctor is a first step in forming a team effort for your child's treatment.
- How will the medication help my child? How long before I see improvement?
- What are the side effects which commonly occur with this medication?
- Is this medication addictive? Can it be abused?
- Are there any tests which need to be done before my child begins taking the medication? Will any tests need to be done while my child is taking the medication?
- How will my child's response to medication be monitored? How often?
- Are there any other medications or foods to avoid?
- How long will my child need to take this medication?
- What do I do if a problem develops (e.g. if my child becomes ill, doses are missed, or side effects develop)?