Should you give a child medication he doesn’t really “need”?

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Max’s habit of drooling.

Last week, my husband took him for a checkup to the pediatric physiatrist. They got to talking about Max’s drooling, and the doctor prescribed a patch to help that we’d stick behind one of Max’s ears. Dave brought the prescription to our pharmacy.

The patches have been waiting there ever since. Dave is too forgetful to pick them up, and I am too on the line about whether or not we should use them.

Transderm Scop patches are geared toward stopping motion sickness. They look like this:

One side effect is dry mouth, which is how the patches could help Max. But I am so on the fence about using them. The drooling is an aesthetic issue (lots of kids with cerebral palsy do it, as a result of low muscle tone). Max doesn’t even notice that he drools, so it’s not as if it bothers him. And he’s already on trileptal to ward off seizures—does he need another medication in his little body? These patches are untested on kids; our pediatric neurologist, who said we could try them if we wanted, recommended that we cut them in half and see if that would do the trick.

The only reason to try the patch, really, is that drooling is the one thing that makes kids notice Max and sometimes make fun of him. Just today, I had a heart-to-heart with one of my best friends, and we were talking about what her kids (four-year-old twins) have said about Max. She told them he has a boo-boo on his brain, and her little girl asked, “Is that why he drools?”

I’d so love to hear opinions on this.

Ellen blogs daily over at To The Max.

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