Medication Options

This page is a list of medications commonly used for children with ADD/ADHD, bipolar and depressive disorders.

Stimulant meds (used for ADHD and ADD)

  • Adderall XR (sustained release): mg doses of 5, 10, 20, 30
  • Ritalin or Methylin (generic methylphenidate): mg does of 5, 10, 20
  • Ritalin SR or Metadate (sustained release): mg doses of 20; Metadate comes in 10 as well
  • Concerta (sustained release): mg doses of 18 and 36
  • Dexedrine or Dextrostat: mg doses of 5
  • Dexedrine Spansules(slow release): mg doses of 5,10,15
  • Focalin XR: mg doses of 5, 10, 20, 30, 40
  • Vyvanse (once a day) : mg doses of 30, 50, 70
  • Daytrana (methylphenidate patch) - this is the first transdermal medication option : mg doses of 10, 15, 20, 30
Non Stimulant choices for ADD and ADHD
  • Strattera: mg doses of 10, 18, 25, 40, 60, 80, 100
  • Wellbutrin: mg doses of 75, 100
  • Wellbutrin XR (extended release): mg doses of 150, 300 (note: I do not know if doctors are prescribing the XR version to children)

First line pharmaceutical choices for Bipolar disorder.

  • Depakote: mg choices 125, 250, and 500
  • Lithium: tablets mg doses of 300 or 450; capsules mg doses of 150, 300, or 600; syrup 300mg/5ml
  • Abilify: mg doses of 2, 5, 20, 15, 20, 30
  • Seroquel : mg doses of 25, 50, 100, 200, 300, 400

Some common antidepressant meds (not all are commonly used in children)

  • Prozac: mg doses of 10, 20
  • Paxil: mg doses of 12, 20
  • Wellbutrin and Wellbutrin XR: see above for mg info
  • Effexor and Effexor XR: mg doses of 18-100 and 37m5-150
  • Zoloft: mg doses of 50, 100

Other medication choices that can be used as well.

  • Clonidine - sometimes used to calm down aggressiveness associated with ADHD or help with sleep: mg doses of .1, .2, .3
  • Risperdal (atypical antipsychotic) : mg dose range is .5-6mg

This information is not a complete and entire list. It is a list of the ones I see used most often, some of which my own son has tried.

Dosing info provided is for your information only and not a recommendation or suggestion for your own child.

My experience is that for the "complicated" child with possibly more than one disorder, you are likely to use a combination of some of these medications.

You might find it prudent to include other types of supplementation to go with the medicine regime prescribed by your doctor. Some commonly recommended options are listed in the alternative treatment section.

If considering pharmaceutical intervention scares you to death - I completely understand! When we had to consider going this route for our son, I was worried, especially when we had to try the stimulants. I won't lie to you - it has not been an easy road to finding the right combination for him. The biggest side effects we have had to conquer were loss of appetite and not being able to sleep. But when you keep working at it and get to a more stable place, it isn't too hard to tweak it when you have to without the world caving in on you.

Remember this - The side effects of living life with an untreated disorder are likely to be far more significant than the side effects of any medication.

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