ADHD medication other than Concerta

Debbie - posted on 10/22/2009 ( 51 moms have responded )

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My daughter has been on Concerta for a bit. She's tried various dosages to figure out what's best for her. It seems that the 34mg is not quite enough but the 56? mg was too much. She did wonderfully as far as in school and all that, but it almost turned her zombie-ish ... she just didn't laugh or smile when she had that dosage.



My question is ... what works for you? I'm considering asking the doctor to switch her medicine to see if something else would do better for her, but I'm not quite sure if I should just deal with things as they are or try something new. She's doing better than if she wasn't taking it, but considering that I saw how well she could do ... I guess I'm just wondering whether it's worth trying anything else out.



Thanks,

Debbie.

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Chrishawn - posted on 01/22/2010

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Ok, so it sounds like what I'm going to say is a COMPLETELY different approach than what anyone else has said here. My son was diagnosed with ADHD combined type this past summer. He is 7 now. When he was diagnosed by a Pediatric Neurologist, she immediately slapped us with Adderal XR. I cried! I did not want my son to be on stimulant medications. We are not believers in taking a pill to fix problems unless its the last resort and deemed necessary. (I want to make this clear now, my statements are in NO WAY a slam to the other mothers on here who have posted and they use and believe in medications for their child. I believe its a personal choice and what you are comfortable with. If it is what works for your child and its what you feel comfortable with and believe in, then thats what is best for you. It doesn't mean that one way or the other way is the way of being a better parent. There are no right or wrong ways, its whats best for you and your family and child(ren)). But anyway, we are taking the natural remedies approach. We went to a chiropractor/nutritionist to see how they could help (seems weird but some very close friends of mine kept encouraging me to see this dr. and how he does wonders). You could try eliminating certain things from her diet to see if changes anything. So the doctor put my son on a gluten free and MSG (monosodium glutamate) free diet and also takes some natural supplements (cod liver oil, mineral supplement, vitamin, pro-biotic, and Inositol (which Inositol is for his impulsiveness). The first thing we did was to take him completely off gluten (anything made with wheat, barely or rye) for 2 weeks. We were to see if we noticed a change in his behavior in that 2 weeks. If it did, then obviously he has a gluten sensitivity. They make GREAT pastas, bread and pizza crust (mix) made from rice flour. The pasta especially tastes really good. In that short two weeks I couldn't believe the difference in him. Come to find out the wheat was causing his neurotransmitters not to fire correctly in his brain. You can also take her off processed foods that contain MSG's (monosodium glutamate). There are hidden names for MSG's so you'll have to look that up on the internet to get that list of things. You would be surprised as to what all has MSG's in it. If you didn't already know, MSG is a preservative. Its found in SO many of our foods these days, especially foods in restaurants. Really sad actually. So you will even have to be careful if you go out to eat. Also, we have found certain chemicals (household) make him NUTS! I started using this "homemade" laundry soap that everyone was telling how to make and how great it was and how great it smelled. Well my son started acting up and remaining almost crazy and very hyper. Getting in trouble constantly at school. In time outs 3x's in one day. So I quit using the soap and within two days he was much better. I also took a sample of the soap in to my chiropractor and he confirmed the soap messed with his brain. So we don't use that anymore for his clothes. Also, the people I nanny for got new carpet. About a week or so after we were going to the people's house so I could work, my son's checkup at the chiropractor was due. So we went. The Dr. told me he had a new chemical sensitivity. He went through the chemicals he had and found it was formaldehyde. That is the chemical used in new carpet. The sensitivity wore off after the smell went away from the carpet. I have to say though, this has really opened my eyes as to all the things that our children can be sensitive to and how it can affect them. I was never a believer in this before, but believe me I am now! I could become a spokesperson for this stuff (natural approach) because I am just so shocked and happy with the results. This combination is working wonders for my son. You see, I was told, kids with ADHD/ADD burn their nutrients up much faster so when their body lacks vitamins, minerals and nutrients that it needs to function properly, you get the lack of attention, hyperness, impulsiveness, etc. Not saying it will work for your daughter, but if you haven't tried this kind of stuff, its worth looking into. Whats the worst that can happen? It doesn't work. So you're really out nothing more than you are now except a little time. Any questions, don't hesitate to ask me. Send me an email, we can talk on phone or whatever to help you through all this. If you need more info and feel LOST (like I did!), please just get a hold of me and I'll help guide you through all this. Its alot to take in at first, but in the end its SOOO worth it and its really not that bad actually. Especially if it makes you aware of the stuff you put in you and your childs mouth and could help you and your family eat healthier, etc. Let me know if you need anything or just have questions! Good Luck and God Bless!

Anna - posted on 10/23/2009

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Strattera is supposed to bring less sideaffects. And are supposed to what I heard not bring that "zombie thingy".

But I´m no doctor, so thats just from what I heard.

Shirley - posted on 01/17/2012

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Please be careful with Vyvance My son was on it for 5 years and when he went on it it was experimental he was on the highest dose and he developed sever anger issues. he started out with just adhd no we are diagnosed with Oppisitional defiant disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, slight autism besides his adhd He would go from a sweet boy to a monster and everyone kept telling me that this was normal. you know your child better than anyone you know what is normal so please if they are on this medicine be very watchful and careful.

Kelly - posted on 01/05/2010

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My 3 year old daughter is on Intuniv 1mg and the first few weeks she was VERY sleepy at times but that wore off as the meds leveled out in her system. I love it! It's a non stimulant that works with the receptors int he brain. She really hasn't had any side effects. She's so much happier now. She used to be very angry and mean. You might ask your doctor about it, every child is different. Hope you guys find something that works out! Good luck!

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Brenda - posted on 12/27/2012

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Hi Debbie. I myself (mom) have ADHD. My kids do not but I had similar as your daughter. I was on 36mg xr and it was not enough. My doc gave me additional 10mg ritalin pills just to take in addition. I cut them in halves and quarters and take what I need after the"loading" dose of 36mg. Kaye u could try something similar. Good luck
Brenda

Pat - posted on 01/17/2012

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My son just changed to Concerta, my Dr. waned us to start @ the 34mg then to 56mg. He was was Focalin XR and was metabolizing it so fast plus he can now swallow pills. I see that initially but not through out the day.

The side effects of these meds are what I hate!!

Eunice - posted on 01/13/2012

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This was very helpful. Thank you! My son is ADHD and we've tried Intuniv ( which worked but he slept through kindergarten), Focalin XR ( we started at 5mg, increased it to 10mg and it work beautifully but when we had to increase it to 15mg it changed his behavior completely. The doctor just prescribed 18mg of Concerta today and the first thing I did was check this site to see what "my other moms" were saying. I love that I can always count on moms to share their experiences: both good and bad and it's a wonderful bond we have whether we know each other personally or not! :-)

Shelia - posted on 01/26/2010

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My son is on Vyvanse 60mg and it seems to be working well for him. We tried others and they didn't work well for him. You have to trust you mother instinct to tell you when something is or is not working for your child. I listened to other people (friends/family) and didn't get my son's medication adjusted for a long time. Once he got so bad he was almost kicked out of Kindergarden. I took him to a therapist and was open to working WITH them on finding something that works for him. two months later our son is a happy BUSY 5 year old who loves to run, play laugh and talk. He told me recently that he loves school now because he isn't in trouble anymore.

No one can tell you right off what will work for your child but YOU can tell what won't. Be strong and keep asking questions. At least for me it's nice to finally feel like I am not the only one dealing with this. The old saying "there is power in numbers" it's true even in dealing with our kids. The road is bumpy but so worth it.

Bridget - posted on 01/24/2010

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Same was happening to us, my 10 year old is on Concerta. We go to an ADHD specalist. The 34 was not enough and the 56 was to much. So the doctor gave us 2 doses to make a middle dose. He take an 18 mg and 27 mg that gives him 45 mg. It worked like a charm.

Ginger - posted on 01/22/2010

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Medication is crazy there is a lot out there. My son had went through 10 different ones before getting to the one that worked. If it changes her personality talk to the doctor there are a lot of side effects and her being a zombie is one of them. It takes a lot of time and fallow through to find out what works for her unfortunately like other medications doctors know how much to give by there weight ADHD medication is a trail and error. Also the medication is not a cure all. Studies have shown that parents who use behavior management and medication the kids do much better. I know how tough it is I tried medication when my son was younger and gave it up till he was 10 because some of the side effects were bad. You know your child the best trust your self. Good Luck hope you find some thing that works soon

Cindy - posted on 01/21/2010

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Have you tried the Aderall XR? We also tried various meds without much success. Regular Adderall caused my son to not eat and when he did he would vomit. Concerta we had pretty much the same effect as you. He either seemed unaffected by it or completely gone. The Adderall Xr is a time release capsule that works longer and is evenly released throughout the day and night. Also with Adderall XR you can give them weekend breaks without any side effects. It really helps to do that unless you can't deal with your child without meds. It is doctor recommended, not just by moms. :)

Shanda - posted on 01/20/2010

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Debbie, I have found that my son who was diagnosed with ADHD 8 years ago went through several medicines until just within the last year we found that Adderrall XR 50 mg, Clonodine .2 mg at night and .1 mg in the morning and Trazadone 50 mg at night has worked wonders for his attitude and ability to focus on school and remember things

Shayna - posted on 01/19/2010

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we were on focalin xr for a while and it did wonders however i think my son got immune to it, i wouldnt have my son on meds at all but he would struggle n school big time so thats y i have him on them. they have alot of different strengths for focalin and even have a after school kind that is good for homework...i loved it!
~shayna

Aundrea - posted on 01/19/2010

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I think what medication works the best varies ever so much from child to child. My son took concerta and he had an aweful reaction to it to the point they told me to have him commited (which we didnt...he was 9 at the time) So far the best my son did was on an Adderal/Strattera combo. A small dose of both. The downfall though was he wasnt hungry and lost weight rather rapidly. We then put him on just Adderal for a time but this too proved to affect his weight too much so in the end we chose to put him on Strattera. He was on 60 mg for quite awhile but currently he isnt on any medication and doing very well. I do think maybe he needs a little though like 20 mg maybe but all in all he's doing well now. We have switched etc since he was 5 and I don't regret trying various things to find what was "right" for him. Its so hard because you want them to be able to concentrate and slow down but you don't want them to be a zombie...you want them to suceede but not at the expense of their health. It can be very tough to find the right balance but I am sure you will. If you feel concerta isnt quite right, I highly suggest looking into alternatives as you may find something that is the perfect fit for your daughter and thats the most important thing :O)

Devin - posted on 01/18/2010

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both of my children who have ADHD have tried a couple of meds. what we have found that works for them is one takes adderoll XR in the morning followed by a boost of the non extended release around noon. my other son takes focalin XR in the morning forllowed by a boost of the non extended release around noon as well. they both are doing well on this formula. we only just recently added toh boost dosages a few months ago, but they are working well and have given them the ability to do their homework once they get home from school!!

just make sure you take time to read about the meds before you say yes to them. you want to know what the side effects are and what to look for. such as.....one med that was first tried on my youngest had a side effect that could cause angery episodes.....that was something that we were trying to keep at bay. we tried the med anyway, and low and behold it made his angry outbursts even worse so we stopped that one.

good luck in your search to help your child!! it takes time and patience, but things do get better

!!

Jennifer - posted on 01/17/2010

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2 of my 5 children are ADHD, and we've found Concerta to work well, but you DO need to work hard to advocate for your child. We tried all sorts of things before starting meds with my now 15 year old. He takes Concerta, and is on the 36mg, which gets him thru the school day. For the afternoon, to get him thru but NOT keep him all wound up for bed time, he takes Ridalin as it is the fast acting, while the concerta is the time release of the same meds. My 7 year old needed to start on meds much younger, and is in need of a dose increase. I know for us, the goal is to get thru school and homework (even if I need to eventually home school to accomplish working with their bodies)... and we have to make a point of making SURE there is a time for them to RUN and burn off energy. Run, or we do MMA workouts with the kids (letting them kick or punch handmitts works wonders.

There are alot of different meds out there, so it is ALWAYS a good idea to discuss ALL the options with the doctor. As we have told our children, the medicine is a helper to level you off. Not to change who you are. If it takes away your daughters personality, it is NOT the right match for her, either by what med or by amount.

Best of luck!!

Jessica - posted on 01/17/2010

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I started my oldest son on ConCerta and he had an adverse reaction to it,meaning he was worso on the medicine instead of it helping him. NMow hes on Adderall and its been wonderful. Every kid is different,it seems like it a trial by error issue with these medicines,but Adderall has worked the best.

Mary - posted on 01/16/2010

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Ask about Focalin my son was on Concerta to the highest dosage and then switched to Focalin XR 10mg. He has been on the same dosage for many years now. He also takes Focalin 5mg later in the school day to help him get through the rest of the day. He is 11 and started on meds when he was 5. He has been on the Focalin for at least 4 yrs maybe more and is doing great with it.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/16/2010

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We have tried different meds on my 9 yr old son. His main problem is the hyper acticity. Concerta worked well but he lost weight. Now that he is on Daytrana (the patch) he is doing very well. Good luck

[deleted account]

Hi All,

My son takes Dexedrine(detroamphetamine) He has been taking it for awhile. It doesn't take that long to see it working. That was the new drug when he started to take it back in 2001.

Tammi - posted on 01/11/2010

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My son is 12, and has been taking concerta for 3 years now, he takes .10 ,mgs and he is doing wonderful. I would discuss this with your doc the next time you see him or her. Have you asked your daughter how she feels??? I understand your concern and I would definately see if there is something else that would work for her.

Kathy - posted on 01/08/2010

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Try two different dosages together.. like 18 and 27. That gets you in between the 34 and 56...

Angie - posted on 12/16/2009

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I have 2 boys that are 8 and 10 and they also have been on multiple meds for ADHD. They are now on Vyvanse because the last pill they were on was concerta and their appetite was real low and now with this they eat alot better, and school is going better too. They do have a little trouble falling asleep with this too ... but they have been working on this for awhile.

Peggy - posted on 12/15/2009

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I have to say my two sons have adhd and both are on concerta and my 15 year old has been on concerta for about 9 years and this med works good for him. My 7 year old has been on concerta for 2 years since he was diagnosed but I do notice this is not working that well for him anymore and I am going to try talking to the doctor about adderall because I have good things about this drug. I also am looking into some drug for anger and behavior someone mentioned to me and it is called boost bar has anyone ever heard of this?

[deleted account]

We started with Focalin which seemed to space my son out. He's now on Vyvanse. He's still not as bubbly when it first kicks in, especially at home. But I was able to observe him briefly on the playground at school one day and he seemed to interacting fine. I would still love to see more of his personality that he had before taking it, but it's like he has no control without it. Overall though, the Vyvanse seems to be much better for him than the Focalin and he doesn't really zone out as before.

Jennifer - posted on 12/13/2009

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My son was also on Concerta, briefly. While he was on it he was getting in alot of trouble in school. He also looked wierd in the eye ares, I guess I would say Racoon like. We switched him to FocalinXR and have not had any bad reports since. He also doesn't look like a racoon anymore. He is 8 by the way.
I hope this helps!!

Jane - posted on 11/28/2009

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My son is 8 and has been on Straterra for the last year. He has 25mg in the morning. THis was then increased to an extra 10mg when he got home from school for a period of approx 4 weeks and had to stop as he was really depressed and what you call 'zombie' like. We stopped this but started again in september at his request as he felt that his medication was wearing off and he was unable to concentrate at school. We have had no problems since and according to his IEP in november the improvements are fantastic. Every medication works differently for every child as you probably know but this seems to be working fine for us. I dont know if concerta is the same but straterra is done by childs weight. Hope you find something suitable .

Rebecca - posted on 11/27/2009

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My 7 yr old daughter is on Adderall and it seems to work. She tried Vyvance but it did not work.

Aprille - posted on 11/26/2009

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My daughter is on Ritalin LA. This may or may not be good for your daughter. My daughter has to be busy, she's not disruptive to anyone else, she is just disruptive to herself and I'm used to her (she has no siblings with me, but she has a half brother who is almost 2 with her dad). She's 9 now and this has worked well for her. It may not work if your child needs to be medicated all the time as this is like a 12 hour pill. My daughter takes 20 mg of this every school day.

[deleted account]

My son takes vyvanse. We started on the minimum dosage and upped it so it would last into the evening a little longer. He is 10. It is supposed to have less side effects than others. I like it b/c it lasts him all day and we don't have to do more than one dose. The only side effects he has, that have gotten less w/ time are having a hard time falling asleep at night, which we fixed w/ melatonin (an over the counter supplement) and he's a little weepy. He did also have the apatite issue, but that has gotten better also. You've gotten a lot of good comments, good luck, it's a tough decision:)

Jenifer - posted on 11/13/2009

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My 9 year old son (almost 10) is on Vyvanse, 30mg, and it seems to work very well for him. He's been on it since he was 8. Good luck!

Monica - posted on 11/12/2009

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My son started with Concerta when they first diagnosed in the 3rd grade. I didn't like it either and it did basically the same thing as it did with your daughter. He has been on Adderall XR 20mg (he takes two!) for about 3 years and since it went generic it was like he wasn't on any meds. He is now on Vyvanse which is a longer acting med that is broke down thru the bloodstream instead of stomach and last about 12 hours (which is great for homework). He's only been on it a little over a week and we can tell a difference, even he can tell!! He is 13 and in the 8th grade. Good luck!!

[deleted account]

My daughter is 6 and she is on Adderall.....the only side effect I notice much is that she seems to be grouchy when she is coming down off of it some kids have a lack of appetite and hard to get to sleep at night but those two side effects go away! I am very happy with what shes on right now.

Kirsty - posted on 10/28/2009

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It is definately worth trying something else, my son starting on Ritalin years ago, he then took Clondine (i think it was called), then Concerta XL, then Equasym, he is now 16 not medicated and passed all of his GCSE's. When he was very young on scale of 1 - 10 his ADHD was quoted by medical professionals at 15, that should give you an idea of how extreme his ADHD was, stay positive!!
It has been a long hard struggle to get to where we are, and when he was younger I had lots of problems getting people to listen to me about his mediation (afterall I am only his Mum what did I know?).
Dont give up trying to get a better medication/combination for your daughter, what works for one child may not work for another.
Equasym really worked for my son, it works on a 8 hour release as opposed to the 12 hours which therefore I found out that my son also was able to sleep better.

Amy - posted on 10/27/2009

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Hi, my son is on Rubifen and it does the job but he is only 4yrs old i never knew there were so many drugs out there for them its kind of scary, Good Luck.

Erin - posted on 10/26/2009

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Concerta didnt faze my son, neither did concerta, My Dr for him is now a physcologist she knew a ton more about the meds. We have use Vyvanse now for over 3 yrs with out switching. When He turned 14 I had to add a dose at noon. He has been thru just about every kind with out it fazing him, his type is frontal lobe ADHD. Anyways talk to your dr maybe a small dose in the am and a small dose at lunch would work better.

Good Luck!

[deleted account]

My son was on Concerta, and it wore off at noon! They added a Ridalin boost at noon, and he arrived home at 3:30pm and went straight to bed. he went on Strattera 2 months ago, and doesn't have the "ups" and "downs" any more. Journal your child's behavior, recording to see if there are regular times that she is zombie-ish, and take it to your Dr. Then he can suggest different options. Best of luck!!!

Donna - posted on 10/26/2009

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My son is on Focalin, and he had been on this for almost 3 years. He has been on all of the meds on the market and has not built up a tolerace to this one yet. Does not seem zombie like with this med compared to some of the other meds for ADHD.

[deleted account]

There are many different types of ADHD meds and it often takes some trial and error before finding the best one for your child. Every person is different and responds differently so don't hesitate to speak with your doctor about behavior, side effects or any concerns.



Below I typed out the handout the neurologist we saw gave to me and went over in detail. The top two categories (methylphenidate & amphetamines) are stimulants and the most common meds which should be tried before moving on to others. HTH!





Medications for Attention Deficit Disorder



Methylphenidate

--Ritalin LA

--Metadate CD

--Concerta

--Daytrana (patch)

--Focalin XR



Amphetamines

--Adderall XR

--Dexedrine

--Vyvanse

---------------------------------------------------------------------



Provigil



Antidepressants that have positive effects on ADHD

--Imipramin/Desipramine

--Wellbutrin

--Strattera



Dopaminergic/Glutamate blocker

--Amantadine

--Memantine

Tiffany - posted on 10/25/2009

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Sorry! I didn't mean to offend at all. As I said, I'm new at this and am still adjusting to the idea of medication at all. I hope things work out for the best.

Chrissy - posted on 10/25/2009

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Daytrona patch worked great for my son. The zombie like behavior went away when we started it and its a much lower dose than pills. It also lasts all day with no ups and downs and he is able to sleep at night.

Debbie - posted on 10/25/2009

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As far as me allowing the "zombie-like" behavior, that wasn't the case. As soon as I saw she was not being happy anymore (even though she did great in school), I immediately had her medicine reduced and took her off of that high of medicine. My problem was that the next lowest level of Concerta doesn't seem to be doing what I think it should for her. ... So that's why I wanted a few recommedations so when I call to schedule an appointment I might mention either Adderall or Daytrona to her doctor now.

Josie - posted on 10/25/2009

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My son is on Adderall XR as well. He is on 30mg and it works beautifully. Here is one thing that I have to say, if he misses his pill, we can definitely tell. He starts mouthing off and becomes very emotional. He is 12 and started on this medication 2 years ago. Increases in the dose do become necessary, mainly because the children are growing. He has been increased at 5mg doses regularly. It is almost time to change his dosage again. Do not let a physician start your child at a high dose. My niece was started at 150mg and they couldn't figure out why it didn't work for her.

Joanne - posted on 10/24/2009

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My son is on Daytrona 10mg. I like it because it is a patch not a pill. It is absorbed into the blood steam as apposed to the stomach. Loss of appatite is a side effect as well as insomnia, moodyness. When the medicine leveled out in his body the side effect went away. Ask your doctor for a sample. I took a 20 min survey and got my first 30 days free. Then took another survey after the 30 days and recieved a coupon for 25 dollars off my next script.

Tiffany - posted on 10/24/2009

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I'm new to this, my daughter has only been on medication (Concerta) for a little over a month and just had her dosage increased yesterday, but I feel strongly that "zombie-ish" is bad. Stick with your gut---little ones should be able to feel emotion, laugh, smile, still be themselves.

Edna - posted on 10/24/2009

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Both my kids are on Adderall..It messed with their appetite but it didnt last long..I have no complaints about this medication.. My daughter just made the honor roll and she has been on it a year now..She is on 20mg and my 5yro is on 5mg..Both XR (extended release)The changes in both of them is amazing for me..To see them now and remember before I just puff up with pride for them and how much they have accomplished..Also forgot to mention that my daughter has a 5mg booster of Adderall on days she needs a lift to make it thru homework time..She doesnt use it much but she knows its there if she needs it, other wise were looking at 5 to 6 hours of homework time since her morning meds have worn off..But since she is working so hard in school she usually has her home work done before she gets home..GL!

[deleted account]

My 6 yr old son takes Concerta 27mg and has been for almost a year (Jan will be a year). He has started, in the last month, staying "wound up" a little longer in the mornings and starting a little earlier in the afternoons. I am scared to change because this medicine has worked SO well for him....he still eats, plays, and eats some more! For me, as long as he is calm enough at school to concentrate and do his work, I think I will leave the meds alone until something else changes. The 1st medicine that he took was Medadate. With that he was a "zombie". Then they put him on Vyvanse, and turned into a "zombie" after being on that for a few weeks. He almost completely stopped eating. He lost almost 10 lbs and would just stand in one place for 10 mins, or longer, just staring off into space. But, all meds affect different kids in different ways. My friends son (5 yrs old) takes focalin 10 mg and he is doing really good on it, he plays well but he doesn't eat so good. I have found that it is HARD, but necessary, to change meds because it will seem to work good for a short time, but then if its not the right medicine, they either stop eating or turn into a zombie.

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