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ADHD and medication

(23 Posts)
brightstar200 Wed 24-Oct-12 19:53:12


I am interested in knowing the pros and cons of administering drugs to help settle down symptoms of ADHD in children.

If any of you could pass on any advice, including any side effects, I would be grateful.


BallyGoBackwards Wed 24-Oct-12 20:34:48

Hi Brightstar. I posted this exact same question a couple of months ago and didnt have one reply so didnt want to leave you hanging.

My DS aged 10 has ADHD (inattentive type) so while he has very bad attention (ADD) he didnt have any Hyperactivity issues.

In May he started on medication (concerta). I cant really see a big difference but both school and his football coach can see a difference.

The side effects for him is that his appetite is suppressed. He eats alot in morning and evenings but not alot at all during the day. At the start he had problems going asleep but this has subsided.

We are still in the early stages and sometimes wonder if I am doing the right thing. At the moment he has started to say that he doesnt want to take them as he wants to be "normal" and normal children dont take medication (his words) So this is making me feel bad for him.

shazian Wed 24-Oct-12 20:44:19

Hi Brightstar, my ds age 11 has ADHD and is on clonidine. He is non verbal and has been other meds before with side effects. Due to his non communication it was difficult to detect the side effects however he was more manic than ever, it was as though he was hallucinating he kept staring at the wall and screaming, he was constantly sweating got very vocal and starting hitting out at his dad and teacher which is so not him... the meds he had side effects were concerta and strattera. He also had risperidone which seemed to work brilliant and also helped with his sleep issues however he recently taken off this because has intermittent dystonia and hospital feel as though this med could be making it worse. He is now on clonidine 50mcg in morning and same in evening, this is for ADHD and sleep issues, he been on it for about 10 weeks now and it seems to be helping he is a lot calmer before he never, ever sat down for 2 mins had no concentration would just run up and down constant, now seems a lot calmer and happier and he will even lie on sofa just twirling a floaty scar for half hour at a time, he has changed massively. At present he is in hospital for reassessment which takes few months so they are monitoring any changes and they feel this is best med for him. BallyGo sorry never saw your post before or would have answered, though obviously concerta works for your ds so goes to show that every child is different and react different to meds, which is worth baring in mind Brightstar x

Sabriel Wed 24-Oct-12 21:00:30

My DS started on ADs when he was first DX with ADHD aged 8 because he was extremely anxious. He went on to Ritalin after a year or so, and later Concerta and Strattera. They did explain all the possible side-effects, some of which were frightening, but for us, his behaviour was so bad that we just couldn't cope with him. One of his "highlights" before diagnosis, was to punch his brother in the face in the back of the car as we were driving. They were 7 and 5 at the time. There was so much blood sad

It didn't stunt his growth, or affect his appetite. It did enable him to get through school without being expelled or turning to drugs. We did go through a stage where he couldn't sleep and had to take melanin, but the condition itself causes sleep problems.

When he was 11 he threatened suicide one day at school. It was without doubt the worst day of my life. He'd had a growth spurt, and the medication needed increasing. He said he thought we'd all be better off without him messing everyone's life up sad

He's 23 now and we recently had a discussion about it all. Apparently his heart is smaller than it should be as a result of the meds, and he's had a few other minor health problems. I asked him if he thought we shouldn't have gone down that route and he was adamant that without the meds he wouldn't have got through school. He thinks the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

BallyGoBackwards Wed 24-Oct-12 21:21:36

Sabriel That was interesting hearing it from your sons point of view. Can I ask if he only stayed on meds while in school??

ArthurPewty Wed 24-Oct-12 21:50:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coff33pot Wed 24-Oct-12 22:53:01

DS is on equasym XL and has been for just over 2 months.

However he is not on the dose prescribed as this made him emotionally upset with everything. He is on half the dose that last 8 hoursly and no I dont give them to him on weekends because the stress isnt on so much.

He has been able to concentrate and learn coping strategies that would otherwise be impossible due to his impulsivity and hyperness. I am now able to help the Asperger child behind the ADHD and it has helped greatly.

The side effects we had were loss of appetite and sleep. Sleep has always been there before though due to anxiety and sleep walking however with the meds he wasnt bouncy and misbehaving just laid with me or in his bed not sleeping. This has sorted itself out now though.

With the eating side of it we stuck to a routine of breakfast, lunch and tea and reminded him constantly to drink. This also didnt last long and at his check up he weighed exactly the same and his blood pressure etc was exceptional like it was at the beginning.

He will also have a break for the half term too so I have a chance to test the coping strategies without the meds and see if and how he can still gain control or not. Its all trial and error for me though as the sooner I can have him off them the better but at the end of the day if it doesnt work and he needs them longer then so be it smile

My DD1 was put on Ritalin at 6 (ADHD..whirling dervish!) and stayed on it until she was 14, when she decided to try without. She was always very thin but it didn't stunt her growth..she is 5 ft 9!

We were reluctant, but I have to say it made a world of difference to her..she is very bright bit couldn;t focus long enough to learn.. ritalin enabled her to do so.
She was also diagnosed with dyspraxia, dyslexia and is undoubtedly on the autistic spectrum too (offered diagnosis as a young adult)

She is now in her 3rd year at Med school, becoming a doctor! AND at 19 she requested re assessment and is now back on Ritalin, as though very bright and able she found her old inability to focus (or sleep) difficult in such a demanding course... she has aced everything at med school so far and feel that now as an adult she can explain how the Ritalin helps her in a way she couldn't when she was a child.

She is still a thin adult, and they monitor her heart as she has a very slow heart rate but whether this is connected we don't know.. but it has been a massive success for her and enabled her to be the brilliant doctor to be that she now is!

justaboutchilledout Wed 24-Oct-12 23:43:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coff33pot Thu 25-Oct-12 00:20:52

Medusa I am glad I read your post that is an amazing girl you have there and gives me hope smile

DS received a HT award yesterday for completing his spellings and getting 18/18 he had to type each one 9 times. Easy ones to us like at an of etc. but he had never written or typed or read a single word before at his infant school only numerical numbers.

Justa it could be the meds giving him a tummy ache. DS had a tummy ache and head ache for first 2 or 3 days.

I gave him his breakfast before the meds and that helped both with the appetite issue and the head ache. I had him checked incase it was a blood pressure issue but his hasnt budged and the head aches went away.

justaboutchilledout Thu 25-Oct-12 00:57:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sabriel Thu 25-Oct-12 08:22:53

Bally he was on meds permanently. I know some people choose not to use them at weekends and holidays but we had 3 other children and he was just too much. He had a break from meds this year while he was staying with us after university and he was hard work. He needs a volume and Off switch.

GhostofMammaTJ Thu 25-Oct-12 08:25:43

One of my best friends has a DS who has ADHD, he is on meds and it has improved the whole families lives no end. Not least to say her DS. He can no actually have a proper conversation with people and is very lovable (even though he is a teen).

Should we succeed in getting a diagnosis for my DD would not hesitate, cardiologist allowing.

In my mind, not giving it is akin to not giving a type 1 diabetic insulin, although obviously there will be some who meds do not suit and they are the exceptions.

whatthewhatthebleep Thu 25-Oct-12 17:12:59

my DS was on his concerta for the last 5yrs. We used to agree to withdraw them at weekends and holidays as much as possible. I always wanted to be able to know what progress he was/might be making for himself and wanted to revisit talking about how he felt with and without his tablets, etc

Due to many reasons, the Psych decided to try a period off the concerta and put him on Sertraline for his extreme's not helping, he has been much more unsettled and out of control and harder to manage for me and for himself
the staged withdrawal was over 2 weeks and has been finished with for several weeks now on the 3rd week he started the Sertraline and my DS is feeling (in his words) out of control, feeling he will do something really bad and his anger will get the better of him. He has been self harming more, extremely frustrated and angry at the drop of a hat, tearful he feels so out of control and adding to how stressed/anxious he is feeling. He says he can't think straight about anything which immediately leads him to the anger.

He wants his tablets back...we are seeing the Psych next week and he is very determined that he should have his tablets back again.

Yorky Thu 25-Oct-12 17:41:00

This has been really interesting reading.

We don't have a dx yet but school have expressed concern about DS1 (yr1) and we have a paed appt for him in Dec.

We always thought he was just a livewire, I remember the nurse saying when I had to take him with me for one of the younger ones jabs 'he's all boy'. Now, since school have spoken with us (we were in a meeting with SENCO about DD1 when she said 'we need to talk about DS1') we've realised that in a line of a dozen boys at rugby practice only 1 is constantly bouncing up and down.
But he can sit still for ages playing on his Dad's ipad. hmm

Sabriel - your comment about needing an 'off' and a volume switch rang so true.

MadameSin Thu 25-Oct-12 19:34:04

Oh dear ... was about to post the same question but now am depresses as hell sad Think I'll go back to running round in circles ....

BallyGoBackwards Thu 25-Oct-12 21:09:52

Think I may see if I can get another appointment for CAHMs, in order to get a review.

You see my problem is that my DS has no hyperactivities problems. We dont have any problems with his behaviour. He never caused any family problems.

He does have language problems, although he has been discharged and doesnt require any further theraphy. He had/has no attention in school whatsoever.

We were told that the concerta would have him focus and therefore it would help him with his speech and it would also allow him to concentrate.

We were told not to give him "days off".

I just wonder if he is gaining much from being on it. Unlike Medusa I know my DS will never be a doctor, he just is not academic at all. It was wonderful to hear her story because it just goes to show what some children can achieve with the intervention of medication.

Thanks.. I hope it didn't come across as bragging because I didn't mean it at all that way... I just wanted to show that ADHD-ers can do well despite their difficulties. She is still absolutely ADHD but we think it might actually be a good thing now she has to survive very long nights on a ward grin Still a pain in the ass to live with...

justaboutchilledout Fri 26-Oct-12 02:00:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GhostofMammaTJ Fri 26-Oct-12 04:50:07

Medusa, my DD wants to be a doctor when she grows up. I have the same thoughts about her coping well with the long hours.

justaboutchilledout Fri 26-Oct-12 05:36:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coff33pot Fri 26-Oct-12 12:09:21

Medusa it's good to read future outcomes and how our children overcame their obstacles. That's not bragging it just shows what may be achieved smile

glad it was a good day justa!

justaboutchilledout Fri 26-Oct-12 22:16:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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