My 6 yr. old daughter had just been put on Focalin XR 5mg capsule. She has been having trouble falling asleep since taking this medicine. I have heard that giving her melatonin will help relax her & make her fall asleep. Please let me know what you think
This question has also been asked and answered here: Is Melatonin safe for kids to take?
I don't know if melatonin will help, but I'm ADHD and have had problems falling asleep too when taking ADHD drugs... This is only my experience, but I've found that if I take the non-extended release, and take it as early as possible, and take 2nd dose at noon, this'll keeps me focused until the evening, doing it this way doesn't interfere with sleep. It might be a question for her doc.
Melatonin should NOT be used in most children. Because of its effects on other hormones, it might interfere with development during adolescence.
If she is having trouble sleeping, talk to her Dr. There are medications to give children on stimulants to help them to sleep. My son was on Concerta as a child for ADHD and he had trouble sleeping. His psychiatrist gave him a tiny dose of Clonidine which worked great to help him sleep. It is not habit forming. If you want to try something over the counter, you can try Benedryl. I would really recommend that you talk to her Dr who prescribes the Focalin though. This is a very common problem in kids being treated with stimulants for ADD/ADHD.
My childs' pediatrician said it was fine to give my child who was 8 or 9 Melatonin when he was Strattera. That helped his sleep clock get back on track. But to take him off when he was able on his own again. I would call the pharmacist to see if your child should at 6 years old or not. It would depend on his/her weight too.
Melatonin is produced by the body normally, however, the amount secreted in the brain is a small amount compared to what is found in Melatonin purchased at the stores.
Also, as these pills do not undergo testing by the FDA, it is impossible to tell if one is obtaining the labeled substance nor the amount in each pill.
It would be my recommendation that you not place your child on Melatonin and instead try to change the time she receives her Focalin. Perhaps a glass of warm milk @ bedtime might help her sleep.
Madhup Joshi, MD
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