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Pros and cons of ADHD medication

(44 Posts)
MeanwhileTime Thu 28-May-20 17:03:44

Posting here for traffic.

Our 9 year old has just been diagnosed with ADHD and we've been offered methylphenidate for him. We had said that we didn't want to medicate him but I'm starting to wonder about it. Being stuck in lockdown with him and seeing first hand just how hard it is for him to concentrate on schoolwork without me helping him the entire time has really got me thinking about it. He literally cannot focus at all unless someone is there repeatedly explaining what he needs to do (and he is a naturally bright boy). That's not to mention the constant noise that he cannot seem to control and his total inability to listen when spoken to. That being said I'm still really nervous about the idea of medicating him.

I don't really know anyone in real life who has put an ADHD child on medication, so have no one to ask for their experience of it and with whether or not it's something they would recommend.

Is there anyone who could share their experience with it (warts and all)? I would really appreciate it.

OP’s posts: |
tvsnack Thu 28-May-20 17:07:29

I have a son, now 16 years. We tried it all. Since he was 6. The side effect hugely outweigh the effect, on my son. With every medicine we tried.
Cant advice you. But be on his side.

MagicKingdomDizzy Thu 28-May-20 17:10:50

I could have written your post OP. We are experiencing this with our son (nearly 9). I will be following this thread for advice.

Please may I ask how long it took for your son to be diagnosed? Our doctor has just sent off the referral to the paediatrician, I know we might be in for a long wait.

I wish you all the best, whatever you decide to do.

Ouryve Thu 28-May-20 17:13:07

My 16 year old has been on atomoxetine since he was 6. Particularly when he was younger, it took the edge off the noise, improved his ability to communicate and helped him do fun things like lego as much as school work.

@tvsnack what do you mean by "be on his side"?

ScrapThatThen Thu 28-May-20 17:13:13

I think the possible overuse of these medications has understandably made parents very cautious. So cautious that sometimes that they don't weigh up the possible benefits for the child. It can be make or break for friendships, managing learning, staying in school. The child understanding their diagnosis -possibly through experiencing benefit from medication - also really helps their self-esteem not to nosedive. Do you trust the prescriber? They are not prescribed for mildly impaired children in my experience.

TippingTulips Thu 28-May-20 17:14:08

My husband has ADHD, and for him the medication works well with no real side effects, so you can't really find out if it will agree with him without trying it, as everyone responds so differently

highmarkingsnowbile Thu 28-May-20 17:15:34

I'd try it. It's been a game changer for my son.

ShiveringCoyote Thu 28-May-20 17:18:15

My child has been taking Ritalin for years. Her life is much better taking it. She copes better with school, made friends and generally enjoys life much more than struggling with it.

SecretMillionaire Thu 28-May-20 17:18:29

My son takes the medication that you have been offered. There have been no side effects for him and it has made a huge difference to our family lives. His concentration levels are much improved and he is much calmer and less impulsive and not so much of a danger to himself and his siblings.

tvsnack Thu 28-May-20 17:18:32

I mean , it is really really Easy to be hard. I Got told by every body to be firm, set rules. Show who is in charge. But it make Them hard. They do their best. so i am on his side. Not that i dont "see" him, i do, but i understand his struggles. I keep talking, keep trying to understand. And when they are 16, they need a good relationship with you, or they are fucked. Medicine or not - the relationship they have with parents are the most important for Them.

ShiveringCoyote Thu 28-May-20 17:19:16

Also remember there are different types of ADHD medications so whilst one type may not work another type might.

SaigonSaigon Thu 28-May-20 17:22:19

My husband is on medication for his ADHD and has been for 2 yrs since he was diagnosed in his early 40's. It's changed his life. He went through about 5 months of titration to find the right dose but it's a process he was glad of and he wishes he'd been able to take it as a child certainly in relation to school work. He was really bright but fell through the cracks. It really bothers him now even though he's done well enough in life, by masking how he feels and working his way around difficulties. Which bright kids with ADHD can do. And he thinks he has it quite mildly too! So for him, mediation was the right choice.

Bobbiepin Thu 28-May-20 17:24:20

I was on methylphenidate for 8 years (ages 8-16). I suffered a lot with insomnia and I have trouble recalling that period of time in my life, my memory for events at that time is very poor - however, it enabled me to focus on school, build some friendships when I was a very challenging child and without it I don't think I would be the adult I am today.

Try it if that's the right choice for you but look into other options to support it. There is ongoing research into the impact of mindfulness and yoga that could be revolutionary.

Glittercandle Thu 28-May-20 17:26:41

I tired it for a few months for my son. It didn’t really have the impact we wanted but I have no regrets trying and would try again.

drspouse Thu 28-May-20 17:28:33

My 8 year old has been on methylphenidate for just over a year. It's been a game changer.
We have increased the morning dose to help with school. Initially we increased the afternoon dose too but he was losing weight. So we cut that out for two weeks now (no homework at least!) and we'll weigh him after 2 weeks.

MagicKingdomDizzy Thu 28-May-20 17:36:55

I hope the OP doesn't mind me asking this on here.....

Please can people also share what non medical techniques/treatments they have found helpful too? With regards to supplements/exercise/diet etc.

Sorry OP, I don't mean to hijack your thread. I'll remove this if you want me to. Just wondering what else is helpful apart from medication.

weebarra Thu 28-May-20 17:38:49

DS1 is 12 and has been on atomoxetine for nearly a year. It's one of the newer meds and isn't a stimulant (there are medical reasons he can't take one). He hasn't had side effects but I'm not sure that it helps his focus or impulsivity. But then it's hard to remember how awful things were.

raffle Thu 28-May-20 17:43:56

Medikinet is literally life changing for my DS. He only takes it in school days, and it’s been fantastic. He went from constantly in trouble (for behaviours he couldn’t help, but that’s a different thread), to being top of the class!

hugglesfor4 Thu 28-May-20 17:44:25

I have 3 DS on ADHD medication. The oldest 2 have had no issues apart from slight loss of appetite. However my youngest has tried 3 different types before we found one that works for him. They are now all on Elvanse which is a 12 your modified release so it releases small amounts throughout the day.

Mine take it after breakfast an hour before school and it's normally out of their system by 5-6pm. I was reluctant to start with but the difference in them is worth it. It's made them happier and their moods are more regulated.

We did trials of 3 different doses over several weeks to see which dosage was the best. School and home had to complete a weekly form to check on behaviour and side effects.

As a pp has said there are several different types to try and it's worth giving it a go.

Good luck!

MeanwhileTime Thu 28-May-20 17:44:50

Thanks so much for all your answers so far. It is so helpful to hear from parents that have actually gone through this.

MagicKingdomDizzy we started the process when he was in year 2. He's in year 4 now so it's taken about 2 years to get to this point.

ScrapThatThen Yes I do trust the provider.

OP’s posts: |
hugglesfor4 Thu 28-May-20 17:48:11

Forgot to say the consultant sees them every 3 months to check on their heart rate, height and weight. We've not had any issues so far but they will be taken off the medication if the consultant feels their health is suffering.

meowcatmeow Thu 28-May-20 17:57:00

Medication has been life changing for both my kids.
Their self esteem has rocketed, they can hold onto friendships, they aren't constantly being nagged by teachers, parents etc. Their confidence has improved no end, their school work is completed and is neater...and marks are great.
Side effects...some insomnia if they take the meds too late in the day. A bit of tummy ache initially (for about a week).
Both kids know how much better they function on it, DD says it's de-fogs her brain.

Fred578 Thu 28-May-20 17:58:17

I’m in the exact same situation as you OP. My son is 8 and we were just at the stage of going to see the Paediatrician when this all happened. I’ve just had a letter to say it’s all on hold which is disappointing but understandable. I’m in two minds about medication, I just don’t know what to do either. He is very impulsive and loud (which I can cope with, however causes big problems in school) but his attention is awful. I have really noticed this now whilst trying to home school him. I’m amazed his teachers have managed to teach him anything! He is calmer than he was, I think school is a stressor for him!

Itsnotalwaysme Thu 28-May-20 18:02:37

My son is on the medication you've been offered. He now shows no adhd traits when medicated however his appetite goes and he struggles to sleep.

We decided to medicate during school time only

Wasabiprawns Thu 28-May-20 18:09:02

My 11 year daughter has been on it for about a year. Her self worth has increased massively as she hasn’t got people constantly getting her back to work and focus. She can now finish her work in a reasonable time so that it can now be put on display. Previously she never finished any work and so thought it wasn’t displayed because it wasn’t good enough like other pupils. She would take 30 mins to write a couple of sentences and now can write a page in similar timeframes.

If there are any side effects then that medication isn’t for you. I can’t express how much her self esteem changed though which will be particularly important in the teen years.

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