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Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Medication for 13 year old -every day or just school?

my finance’s 13 year old only takes his ADHD medication for school. On weekends, off his meds he gets very angry, loud, defiant, abusive and rude. I am thinking that perhaps he should take his medication every day- to help his brain chemistry- to help him, and help those around him- like the other children and the parents who have to listen to him go off.  He is much better when he is on his meds.


Hi JoeandAndrea!

It’s a tough call whether to continue the medication through the weekend and school breaks. When a child truly needs ADHD meds only for school success, a weekend meds break may work out okay. But, if the child cannot be successful or happy without the medications, it may be a good idea to consider taking them every day. After all, we are giving our ADHD children medication to help THEM, not to help their teachers or parents. I also feel like it can be quite the mental roller coaster to have that help some days and not others.

Here’s a great article from Dr. Silvers on how to determine if your child should have a medication vacation as it’s so often called.

Good luck!

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Dec 27, 2013 at 3:09am

My gauge for when to get my kids diagnosed and on meds was when everyone else could not stand to be around them, then it was time for diagnosis and meds.  Boy, does it make for a much calmer and more pleasant household!  If your almost step-son is making the house miserable, then it is time for meds year round.  Yes, the meds are to help him, but if no one wants to be around him and come to hate him due to his behavior, that is not helping him.

Posted by Abner on Dec 27, 2013 at 3:48am

all week every day.  Our 14 year old has been on meds since age 9.  He is in the fourth highest rated high school in the country and just got 4 As and 2 Bs and scored extremely well on his PSATs.  I attribute this was much to his being on medication during school as I do his being on it on non school days, because it regulates him and I think that is very grounding for him.  This rather than on and off medicine which I have witnessed as dis-organizing and dis-regulating.  But of course every one and every case is different.  Try it both ways, which does he like better?  Which do other’s like better? 
Good luck.

Posted by Ilana on Dec 27, 2013 at 4:17am

My 16 year old daughter is much happier and functions much better when she takes her meds on the weekends too. She finds that she is happier and better able to concentrate to do the things she wants to do, like leisure reading, getting things accomplished, etc. You are a few years from this, but she is a MUCH better driver on her meds vs not on meds. Something to consider. Good luck.

Posted by mcat on Dec 27, 2013 at 10:50am

I agree with the above parents who say “every day.” If it weren’t for our son losing weight on his meds, we would certainly have him take them on weekends as well. However, we don’t require it so it’ll give him a chance to get hungry for a couple of days to help him gain or maintain his weight. As of right now, he is 7 pounds UNDER weight. That is reason enough to take him off the meds when there is no school. That includes holidays!

Posted by BlessedinMN on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:05pm

My 8 year old grandson started on meds at age 6. We have gone both ways and find he is much happier (as are we all) when he takes his meds every day.  They do affect his appetite somewhat but we offer the foods he loves the most and so far he has continued to grow appropriately. He loves to weigh himself and is proud of his small weight gains. Also of note, he will spend hours creating designs with the tiny Legos that boggle my mind, of course I take pictures of them all!

Posted by MaryJack on Dec 29, 2013 at 8:40pm

Thanks for all this helpful feedback.

Posted by JoeandAndrea on Dec 31, 2013 at 10:05pm

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