What is the Right Dose?
Figuring out what the correct stimulant dose is for any patient will generally be a matter of gradual adjustment. Dosage depends on many factors including how severe the symptoms are, how rapidly a person metabolizes the medication, and what kind of side-effects they experience, to name a few. The FDA has dosing guidelines for certain medications. However, most of these were developed for pediatric patients and have limited applicability to adults.
Because adults have a much greater body mass, they generally require higher doses than children. Therefore, both prescribers and patients may need to make adjustments based on such factors as symptom response, presence of other illnesses, and side effects rather than rely solely on FDA recommendations.
In determining the best initial dose, it is best to start at a low dose and make increases gradually until 1) symptoms are under control or 2) side-effects develop. Research indicates that more rapid increases in initial dose are associated with greater side-effects and more likelihood of stopping the medications before it has a chance to work.
This page last updated 12/1/17