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"Is Risperdal safe for young kids"
I finally got my 8 year old daughter examined by a psychiatrist who said that she had a 'classic case' of ADD. He said we should look into medications, and Risperdal looks right for her symptoms, but is it safe for a child her age? If it doesn't work, is it safe to withdraw her from it?
A 'classic case' of ADD would be characterized in a child of your daughter's age by extreme distractibility and inability to remain on task. This would impair her ability to function in multiple different environments, including at home, with friends, and in school. In school, her grades may suffer; at home, you may feel that she does not listen to you or follow instructions. If these are indeed the symptoms that your daughter is exhibiting, then Risperdal would definitely not be a first line medication. There are several medications that are used regularly and with safety in ADD. Far and away, the class of medications that has the largest of amount of evidence suggesting that they help with ADD symptoms are the stimulant medications such as methylphenidate and amphetamines. It would be very unusual to use a medication like Risperdal in ADD unless there are very strong concurrent psychiatric problems, such as obsessive compulsive tendencies or mood disorder such as bipolar disorder. It might be best to seek a second opinion from a different child psychiatrist, or even just talk to your pediatrician (many pediatricians are very skilled in dealing with ADD) to help you sort out what the best plan for treating your daughter is.
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