Being Your Child’s Pharmaceutical Historian

If your child is taking medication, then this post is for you!

Yup, another hat for us parents to wear … the pharmaceutical historian.  Whether you find an app or create a simple list like the one below, having a complete history of every medication prescribed to your child is invaluable.

I cannot tell you how many times psychiatrists, pediatricians, and other docs have been beyond grateful (and shocked) when I hand them a complete medication history.

In full disclosure, I started keeping a list because every time I was asked what Ben was taking, I destroyed the pronunciation of most of the medications!  Early on, the medications and doses change frequently.  The list of medications quickly evolved into what it is today.

In our case, our son Ben is highly sensitive to medication and we have to pay attention to rare side effects and drug interactions as well as types, or classes of medications.  Today, he is on four different medications to manage his mood and anxiety. He is also taking medication for hypothyroidism, asthma, and allergies. This is the best mix of medication we have ever had in regards to managing symptoms and quality of life.  Unfortunately, we had to go through lots of unsuccessful med trials with too many visits to the psychiatric hospital in order to get a good outcome (knocking on lots of wood that this cocktail does the trick for a while).

Today, three different doctors are prescribing medication for Ben.  They each need to know what Ben is taking as well as what has worked and not worked in the past.  As his mom, it is my job to be his pharmaceutical historian.

This is a sample of the list I created years ago to track medication.  Nothing fancy … just the basics; however, it does the trick!

Child’s Name

Date of Birth

Current Meds as of 11/1/16

  • Levothyroxine    xx mcg AM
  • Lithium ER           xx mg AM/xx mg PM
  • Seroquel                xx mg AM/xx mg PM
  • Flovent                  2 puffs AM/PM
  • Singular                 AM          
Medication Dates Prescribed Why Prescribed Dosing Schedule Doctor Notes
Fluoxetine 09/10 – 06/11 Anxiety; OCD 40 mg (20 mg AM/20 mg PM Dr. Help Originally started for anxiety; later increases for OCD; no noticeable improvement for either
Intuniv 1/11 – 3/14 ADHD symptoms 4 mg (2 mg AM/2 mg PM) Dr. Help Helped with hyperactivity and focus; no improvement with impulsiveness; tiredness and headaches
Vyvanse 2/12 ADHD Symptoms 10 mg PM Dr. Help Tried vyvanse due to tiredness and headaches on intuniv; manic response; went back on intuniv
Risperdal 2/12 – 2/12 Mood Disorder 4 mg PM Dr. Positive Very sedated, disconnected, blocked speech followed by periods of extreme emotion and frantic behavior
And so forth … Including all medications, regardless of reason or duration 
A simple tool with a big payoff!  Use it, modify it, or create your own.  Be your child’s pharmaceutical historian!




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