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Is there any side effect of Methylphenidate?

Q: My daughter has been diagnosed as a dull, normal child. Her intelligence quotient (IQ) was 82 (below average intellectual capacity) and she has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She was also tested on Seguin Form Board (SFB) and scored a mental age of 8.5 years while she is 10.5 years old. She was taking Carbamazepine 100 mg daily (quarter in the morning and afternoon and half at night). We have now been advised to slowly taper off this medicine by decreasing a quarter tablet every 3 weeks and then start giving her Methylphenidate 10 mg daily (half tablet in the morning and half at night). We do not give the drug during the weekend and school holidays. What are the long-term side effects of this drug? Is it addictive?

A:Methylphenidate, sold as Addwize in India, has been FDA approved for treating children with ADHD. Its side effects may include loss of appetite. Long term side effects, if used for many years and high doses, may affect growth and height. It has a low risk for addiction. However, the benefits exceed the risks. The medicine is never given at night. Hence, kindly give the second dose before 4 pm (noon). You will also notice some improvement after Carbamazepine is stopped. Lastly, get your child assessed for a Learning Disability by a Child Psychologist.

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