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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Blood Testing and ADD

12/13/2000

Question:

My 11 year old niece whom I am raising,has undergone all of the schools tests the conclusion ADD. I took her to her Doctor and he prescribed ritalin 5mg one a day dosage with a follow-up visit in 1 month. My only concern is that he did not do any blood work to check blood chemistry levels, however prescribed medication after spending approximately 15-20 minutes in the room with us, and this was a first time visit with this doctor. Is this correct procedure?

Answer:

Unless there is a medical reason specific to your niece there is no reason to draw blood. Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Methylin, Concerta) may change blood levels of a few other medications so one might draw blood to check those. There is a good web page (see below) to get basic drug information: MedlinePlus from the National Library of Medicine. They are not always up to date (methylphenidate page was last updated mid-1999) but are still quite helpful. The information is written for the general public and one can get a lot of other useful medical information in addition to that on drugs.

Related Resources:

MedlinePlus

For more information:

Go to the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Susan Louisa Montauk, MD
Formerly Professor of Family Medicine
University of Cincinnati