Low-Tech Medication Diary Can Help Fine-Tune Treatment

 ADHD Weekly, March 28, 2019

Liz Baker kept a diary of her son’s diet and behavior, starting when he was six. When he began taking medication for ADHD, she was ready to keep track of important information.

“I wrote everything down—dates, times, name of medication, dosage, his behavior, different side effects, whether he was feeling lethargic or agitated, and so forth,” Ms. Baker recalls. “I changed doctors a year later, when my son was nine, and was able to give him all of the information about the different medications we had tried. He found that history very helpful.”

Her son has made significant gains over the years, and the core symptoms of his ADHD are being well managed.

“We do know that children’s response to medication often changes over time, and that a medication or dose that was quite effective at managing a child’s symptoms initially may not continue to be as effective,” says David Rabiner, PhD, an associate research professor at Duke University. “This tell us that even when extreme care is taken to start children on a medication regime that is effective in managing their symptoms, it is likely that adjustments will need to be made to continue to optimize the management of ADHD symptoms.”

Ms. Baker’s diary is just what the doctor hopes for when working with patients.

“It is likely that adjustments will need to be made to continue to optimize the management of ADHD symptoms,” Dr. Rabiner says. He notes that in the absence of systematic monitoring, parents and physicians are less likely to have the information needed to gauge whether the medication and the child’s symptoms continue to be managed well. As a result, children may be maintained on a medication program that does not provide as much benefit as possible.

How can you create a medication diary or journal that helps your child’s doctor fine-tune medications? And what about one you can share with your doctor when making updates to your treatment plan? Continue reading The Medication Diary: A Useful Tool for Monitoring ADHD Treatment in Attention magazine to learn how this low-tech tool can have powerful results for you.

Join the discussion: Have you ever use a diary or journal to keep track of medications?