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Q: Health ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Health
Category: Health > Medicine
Asked by: tinkerbell58-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 09 Oct 2002 12:38 PDT
Expires: 08 Nov 2002 11:38 PST
Question ID: 74563
If children are taking Ritalin for ADHD can they be given a small
sedative at night time due to side effect of Ritalin,sleep
Subject: Re: Health
Answered By: aliciadenney-ga on 17 Oct 2002 00:16 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Tinkerbell58!

  First off, thanks so much for turning to Google Answers for our
advice on this matter.  Most importantly, I'd like to reiterate Google
Answers' policy that that which is stated in this answers should not
in any way take the place of professional medical advice.  I am here
to filter the mass of information available to you on the internet and
determine which sites contain corroborated statements on this
topic--your friendly internet hostess, if you will!

All right.  Good for us, the internet has an incredible amount of
information on it pertaining to Ritalin.   Bad for us is that most of
these sites are proprietary or skewed for or against the drug.

In sum, I have gathered that there are several options for you to try
in an effort to minimize this obviously unpleasant side effect of

1) According to the site Health A to Z, it is wise to first attempt to
change the time and amount of dose before actually putting anything
else into the body, which is already trying it's hardest to maintain a
homeostatic chemical composition with Ritalin.  Here is what the site

"Ritalin has relatively few side effects as far as medications go,
according to Safer. Nervousness and insomnia are the most common side
effects, and they can usually be controlled by reducing the dosage and
omitting the drug late in the day or evening"

A site published by a doctor states the same as Health A to Z, but
also brings up the possibility of two sleep aids to combat the side
effect, which brings me to option #2:

2) A drug Cocktail:  Other drugs may be prescribed by a healthcare
provider which work directly to counteract the adverse effects of
Ritalin while NOT affecting the positive effects of Ritalin.

Here's what the doctor's site had to say about this: (I would bear in
mind that a site published by a doctor has a good chance of being a
strong proponent of meds--$$cha-ching$$)
"Sleep difficulty: This is more frequent with the longer-acting
stimulants such as Dexedrine Spansules. However, the sleep problem is
sometimes due to the AD/HD not the medication. If the sleep problem is
truly due to medication effect, give the last dose earlier in the day.
Sometimes clonidine or guanfacine help one settle down for sleep. We
also counsel the individual on establishing good sleep habits"
        --here is a site which povides basic information about
        --this is a great site to type in drugs that are recommended
to you to
        learn about possible contraindictions.

***I found a study published by the journal "Neurology," which
purported some interesting statistics on the possible powers of
combining clonidine and Ritalin:

The findings appear in the Feb. 26 issue of the journal Neurology. 

In the study, 136 children between the ages of 7 and 14 with both ADHD
and a chronic tic disorder were divided into four groups. While one
group received a placebo, a second received Ritalin, a third received
clonidine, and a fourth received a combination of the two drugs.

Prior to the 16-week course of drug treatment, each child was rated by
teachers and parents using questionnaires measuring symptoms of ADHD
and tics, and these scores were compared to those gathered after 16
weeks of drug therapy.

The biggest reductions in ADHD symptoms were seen in children taking
both clonidine and Ritalin; about 85 percent showed improvement. And
when it came to reducing the severity of a child's tic symptoms, the
most effective treatment also appeared to be a combination of Ritalin
and clonidine (75 percent showed improvement), followed by clonidine
alone (66.5 percent), and Ritalin by itself (55 percent).

3) Alternative/Natural Sleep Aids:  Of course, it is still wise to ask
a doctor before using any of these, despite the fact that most contain
substances which are naturally occurring in the human body.  Try:
   a)homeopathic sleep remedies--I love this site: 
   b)Chamomile tea:  Here is an article in the British site Organic
    which touts Chamomile as a great natural remedy for sleeplessness
that has
    been used for hundreds of years! 
   c)Melatonin:  I'm going to CAUTIOUSLY recommend that you consider
    which I have taken many a sleepless night.  This bottled
    does not sit on the market without controversy, partially because
it IS so
    effective....people can't help but wonder if it is too good to be
true, and
    whether it is okay to synthetically intake a hormone released by
the pineal
    gland, one of the least-understood parts of the human body. 
Either way,
    here is an article which supports the use of melatonin for
    Especially worth noting is the fact that it cites learning
    as something that the use of Melatonin helps combat!

*********SEARCH STRATEGY************

I began by asking Google: Ritalin "side effects" help, and this is
what I got:

I then moved on to ask Google about clonidine and ritalin and was
given the following:

Finally came my search strategy for the alternative holistic
a)"homeopathic sleep remedies":  
b)insomnia "natural remedy":
c) melatonin children: 

I really hope that I have provided you with some insight.  I am
discouraged from including personal opinion, but would, if in the same
sitation, do everything possible to combat the insomnia without taking
more prescriptions.  If nothing else, these should act as a last line
of defense.

Please let me know if I can be of any other assistance!

Thank you, and ask again at ANY time!!
Happy sleeping!!!
Your Faithful Google Researcher, 
tinkerbell58-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Excellent Research and most helpful. Thanks very much.

There are no comments at this time.

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