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  1. #1
    AnnieW625's Avatar
    AnnieW625 is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Can I just say that I find ADHD meds confusing and mind numbing?

    So Dd2 (will be 10 in April) has the inattentive Adhd and has been medicated for the last 3 years since she was 6/1/2. I feel like nothing is working.

    She started out on Vyvanse and was on that until she was almost 9. We felt it worked okay, but it was a huge appetite suppressant. She gained maybe maybe 7 pounds (she was 48 pounds when she started and 55 pounds when she stopped and she 4í or so tall) in 2.5 years and so we would have to give her medication holidays whenever possible, but with that medication for about the last month when she wasnít on it she was mean and nasty to everyone or she would have these awful temper tantrums.

    She then took dexmethalphenidate ER (Focalin) for about 7 months but according to her teacher she was still not performing in school like she should. She was forgetting to do work, not focusing so we increased the dosage, and her teacher said that she was often zombie like in class. The worst part of that medication was it made her super paranoid and she be some scared of things like shots that had never bothered her before (she was in full on hysterics trying to get a flu shot....she finally got one in January)

    So in January we switched her to Adderall 5 mg, and I honestly thought it was working a little bit better, she was eating and her overall attitude was pretty good, but again her teacher said she was still having problems focusing so at her last appointment on Friday the teacher upped the dose from 5 mg to 10 mg and this weekend especially yesterday Dd2 was almost hyper and her impulse controls were way off the charts. I caught her taking tea bags from a local cafe (she initially told me that one of them just ended up in her pocket when she gave it to me yesterday, but then last night I noticed two more by the car door so she took 3 total.....she doesnít even drink tea.....I have to deal with this tonight because I found the other tea bag after she went to bed). We spent yesterday afternoon catching her up on her computer Language Arts program for school as well and while it was frustrating because she didnít want to be doing that she got the work done, but I still had to sit by her in order for her to get it done.

    One bonus is she has gained 4 pounds since November and now finally weighs 60 lbs., but she is still skinny and I donít know whether that is normal (her sister has always been thin as well.....Dd1 is 5í3Ē and 113 pounds, but I think she was maybe 65 lbs by the time she turned 10) or the medication not working the way it should. Her doctor did tell me that Vyvanse was suppose to be the best for not suppressing appetite and that maybe the Adderall 5 mg wasnít working because she still had her appetite.

    If the Adderall 10 mg works in school then we will have to work on the other impulse issues and hyperactivity that so far in two days seems to come with it.

    FWIW she is also supposed to be evaluated for a IEP but wale havenít gotten the final report yet.

    I am at my wits end because I just donít know what is suppose to be normal and what isnít.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by AnnieW625; 02-26-2020 at 12:16 PM.
    WOHM to two wonderful little girls born in April
    DD E, 15
    DD L, 11
    baby 2, 4-2009 (our Tri-18 baby)

  2. #2
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Central NJ


    There's a lot of fine-tuning and some kids simply metabolize the meds faster than others.

    We had DD on Adderall XR from the spring of 1st grade through this past fall. We started at 5mg also, then boosted to 10mg ... and at 15mg, she was a complete emotional mess.

    In November, we discussed a medication change with her pediatrician, so we switched from 10mg of Adderall XR to 18mg of Concerta XR. We stepped up the Concerta in December from 18 to 27mg, with the doc starting to suggest adding Focalin but we can't without checking in with her cardiologist because of DD's heart issues. (Focalin raises BP, so it's contraindicated for heart issues.)

    What we have noticed about DD is her emotional self-regulation is better on the Concerta than it was on the Adderall, but she might be metabolizing the Concerta faster.

    We give her weekends off medication unless we have something going on where she'll need to focus, like a GS event or her ice skating lessons.

    What kinds of physical activity does your DD do? I find that adding physical activity for my DD (who has ADHD-combined, but IIRC your DD2 has ADHD-inattentive?) helps improve her focus, especially if it's something complex like bike riding, yoga, or ice skating. We're also lucky to live in a place with 4 seasons, so yard work like digging in the garden, shoveling snow, and raking leaves all help with her regulation as well.
    DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Can I just say that I find ADHD meds confusing and mind numbing?

    Have you tried concerta? (Or anything in the Ritalin family?) Thatís what my 10 year old DS1 takes. Vyvanse was horrible for him (zombie and irritable). Concerta was better. He also takes Zoloft for anxiety. (We started that in August.). We had to up his concerta dose when he started growth hormone shots in November. He has more traditional ADHD....high on the hyperactivity and impulsivity. Focus wasnít really a big issue....just super impulsive and hyper.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    DD (3/06)
    DS1 (7/09)
    DS2 (8/13)

  4. #4
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2003


    It took us 8months and lots of observation and communication from DSís teacher to find the right medicine for him. Some of the meds we tried were a disaster (Vyvanse was one). Ultimately, Concerta works the best for him but it does completely suppress his hunger and thirst while it is working. Once itís worn off, his appetite comes back with a vengeance. He eats big, high-calories breakfasts and dinners. It also has the terrible side effect of him picking his skin and nails. He has scars all over his legs and his finger nails are a mess. But his weight is holding steady and his grades and friendships are doing well. These side effects are the least problematic of all the medications heís tried. Some of the meds we tried causes outbursts of sheer rage that couldnít be calmed down, some had him sleeping the entire afternoon of the school day. Some caused horrific stomachaches. I live in fear of the day Concerta will stop working and we will have to find a replacement. Iíve heard from parents and doctors that puberty can cause some changes and some kids have to switch meds.

    Eta, DS also takes Prozac for anxiety which has been great for him.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    We finally got in with the child psychiatrists at the university medical center last fall, and it has been so much better than having the pediatrician stabbing in the dark trying to figure out which med to use.
    DS is now on Ritalin LA, which is a combination of half long-acting and half short-acting. He is still not eating much lunch, but he usually eats a snack when he gets home, eats a normal dinner, and his weight is stable. I spent the last 3 years constantly trying to figure out how to add calories and get him to eat more, and now I don't have to worry about it. I make sure he gets a good breakfast and i put stuff in his lunch box that I know he will eat if he feels like eating.
    With all the other meds we tried, once we got the dose high enough to work well, he started losing weight.

  6. #6
    kdeunc is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Aug 2002


    Have you tried the Methylphenidate class? That is what DS2 has been on since diagnosis 6 years ago. We switched to Concerta last summer because of insurance reasons which seems to be working OK. He was on Aptensio XR before that which worked well for him. His pediatrician is semi-retired and only kept his ADHD and complex cases kids. I feel he is very well versed in ADHD and in the medications available. He likes some of the newer medications because he feels they work better and are "smoother" in their delivery but insurance can be a barrier. One he has suggested for DS is Contempla. He also discussed with us the genetic testing that can help determine which class of drugs would be most effective. Trying to figure out meds can be a huge challenge, especially when you throw in insurance coverage. Good luck!

    DS 1 12-02
    DS 2 12-04
    DD 07-08

  7. #7
    mikala is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Medications can be so frustrating and it seems like it's a constant benefit/side effect weighing game. I've found the Additude mag podcast helpful.

  8. #8
    smilequeen is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    Who are you seeing for meds? We see a pediatric Neurologist. He has been absolutely amazing figuring out how to make meds work. He's just an absolute expert in it. My son has the Inattentive type as well.
    Mama to my boys (04,07,11)

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