Has anyone had this happen with Adderall?

Heather - posted on 01/21/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )

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My 5 year old son is on his second day of 2.5 mg's of adderall 3 times a day it is now almost 2 am and he will not go sleep, is crying and screaming uncontrollably almost to the point of hyperventilating, and trying to hit us and himself, and I can't calm him down, all of the behavior problems we have with him have been extremely amplified. Could this be a severe reaction to the medication?

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Amanda - posted on 02/14/2013

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It's irritating for someone to post comments telling us as moms that its child abuse to give our children medications such as stimulants!
If you are in med school then I feel you should also understand that stimulants increase dopamine and work in a positive way in our brains as well. Adderall XR is actually one of the safer stimulant medications & has been approved by the FDA for children as young as 3 yrs old.
My son is 8 & came to us after school started wanted to try something different to help him in school! He had already been tested for every other learning disability & ADHD was the ONLY diagnosis that fit. We tried counseling for self esteem and to learn techniques to help him cope & be more confident & not too shy to ask for help when he didn't understand. That helped a little but not enough!
He started adderall XR 5mg and came home that day & said how much he loved the medicine he took, how he wasn't distracted at all during silent reading & he actually finished all of his assignments on time.
I'm on this site because he's started to have some side effects & I wanted to see suggestions on meds with less SE. He asked to stop taking it so I haven't made him take it again. But he is asking to try something that does the same thing but doesn't make him feel crazy. He gets to dictate what he wants, he isn't crazy hyper & his ADHD isn't severe. His grades are great as well but I don't want his symptoms to get worse!

Melissa - posted on 01/25/2010

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Absolutely! Stop the meds, call your dr., poor guy (and poor mom, too). It's scary to think of how he's feeling. My son reacted to adderall as well, so I feel your pain. He now takes an all-natural version without side effects. I'm a special ed. teacher and can give extra hints for home and school. Feel free to e-mail me at kidsfirst6@yahoo.com.

[deleted account]

I've known my 7 year old boy was ADD since he was 2, but am now in discussions with his teacher (1st grade) about how ADD is affecting him. I have a meeting set with her to discuss how we can make a plan to help him in school. I feel that at home we have it under control (lists, keeping organized, music to help focus etc.) I had thought it wasn't getting worse, but he is becoming increasingly scattered in the class room, he blurts out a lot more impulsively, daydreams, having trouble during activities that require sitting still for a while, talks excessivly or hums a lot, etc. I've noticed in sports it also seems to affect him, he can't focus on what is going on.
I am new to ADD, but have just read a book by Dr Amen about healing ADD which has been helpful. Before I had read this I was totally opposed to medication, but now seeing how hard my boy tries to control his ADD (he knows he can't keep attention and really tries to focus) but he just seems to be getting worse. I have a Doctors appointment with his pediatrican next week, so I guess I'll see what his advice is? Can anyone here recommend what other steps I should take?

Sjdon - posted on 09/09/2012

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I cannot believe both you and the child's doctor would do such a thing. This child is only 5 yrs. old. Administering this child an amphetamine mixture at such a young age is criminal on the doctor's behalf and abuse on yours. There is no doubt, this medication will affect the child's neural chemistry and his brain permanently. It would be best if you stop this madness. This goes to all the mothers who feel it necessary to have their child on an ADD medication. These medications are by far very potent. To see children at such a young age on such drugs makes my heart sink. I am currently a medical student and we learn a great deal about such medications and how they interact with the brain. Children if anything should be dealt with much more care. I would only pray that I weren't your child being fed such medications against my will. Ritalin will make your child more prone to arrhythmia and heart problems. Pharmaceutical companies having nothing to lose. You do.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/02/2010

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take him off there is alot out there! Straterra has been gentler for my son he takes 5mg of adderall but it is not doing much so we will be taking him off of it. He screams at night and yells at bedtime when I ask him why he says he just has to, so I let him. We will take him of everything at end of school year and give his brain a break. I hate it all and feel like I am poisoning him. Adderall is highly addictive!!! My son is 10, 5 is so little. Adderall is pure speed in street terms.

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Well my daughter is 14and she takes a 10mg xr and she does ok and it does greeat at school I think you should ask his ped if mayde they could reduce it so he can be able to sleep its probly to much for him

Diana - posted on 09/18/2012

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My son is on 5mg once a day and is acting the same way he started it saturday. And his acting out and fits, screaming and crying, and not listening to anything anyone says is only getting worse.

Allison - posted on 09/15/2012

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Get him off that! My five year old was diagnosed with ADHD and we tried that, plus a number of other medicines. We now have him on 10mg of ritalin 3 times a day and it is amazing the difference it has made. Don't give up hope, my little guy acted that same way. You just keep trying different medicines and get him some omega brite (fish oil) and you will see a world of difference when you find the right thing for him. I almost had given up hope, but things have turned around. He is now in Kindergarden and doing wonderful! I went throught numerous daycares before I got him on this ritalin, i never thought things would turn around. Just be strong and get him off that adderall, it is a bad side effect of it and something else will work better for him. Try the ritalin. With all of these medicines he is not going to have much of an appetite so be sure to feed him well before he takes his dose and give him a pedia sure or something through out the day. Good luck!



My 5 year old is on ritalin 10mg three times a day, it seems to be gentler on him with less side effects. The adderall was horrible, as well as the other stuff we tried him on. My son has made a complete 180!

Ann - posted on 09/14/2012

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Yes, call the doctor immediately! Do a computer search for Adderall side effects.

Dawn - posted on 09/10/2012

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Yes. My son (4yr) went from a HF Autistic to classical. The director at his preschool had to restrain him as he was throwing things, banging his head on the floor and picking at himself till he bleed all while screaming and crying. He would rock and chew his finger, meltdown many times a day. We switched him to strattera and tennex. He is "better" it takes the edge of his ADHD and ODD but not as well as adderall did, however, he has returned to "normal". He nolonger rocks, picks at himself or head bangs. strattera is a non-stimulant and adderall is a stimulant. If you are seeing an increase in anxity and disruptive behavior I would suggest stopping and trying to switch to a non-stimulant.

Mary Ann - posted on 10/09/2011

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I have just learned the difference between the two diff base meds for adhd..the stimulants anyway...adderall or ritalin...they both have side effects and everyone is diff so what works for one person/child will not work for another...our son has been on Concerta for over three years and several weeks ago started having trouble with it..we went to straight Ritalin so we could make the dose smaller..made him very mean and aggressive..so we thought what they heck lets try the adderall base...its been four days and he is doing much better on this...dr did add the Strattera but since that takes a while to get in the system we are using low dose of adderall until it kicks in with hopes of not having to use a stimulant after that but who knows...so if he needs a stim med to treat his ADHD maybe the adderall base is not working for him and the ritalin base would be better...I know its a guessing game at times..but I hope all works out.

Rabecca - posted on 02/05/2010

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my 9 year odl takes 15 mg 3 times a day and this has been the only med that has really worked for him I dont think its the amount but yes it maybe the wrong med for your son we have went through several before we found this one that has really helped my son had similar issues with other meds like you have described and some things seemed to devlop down the road a little the main thing is if it is a side effect that continues or doesnt seem to get any better or has a really bad effect stop and talk to your doctor right away you may always see little things hee and there like a few bellyaches at first or headaches but these should go away uncontroled behavior is not something you or he should have to live with and there will be something out there that works keep at it its not like first med and your kids all better we have had to try so many but are very happy we kept at it till we found what works my son does have extreme sleeping issues but always has on a good night hes asleep before 12

[deleted account]

My son [age 8] had a similar reaction to Concerta. He took Adderall but after a couple of months we noticed he was irritable. We didn't make the connection until one day it was forgotten to be given and he was happy and playing great with his younger sister.

We've been working on getting the right med and dose still for him and it's been almost a year since we've started. He also has depression and we found that the higher Concerta dose triggers the depression AND gives him insomnia. I was giving him Benadryl but didn't care for that as a solution. We lowered his dose and has taken Melatonin [OTC in the vitamin aisle] as needed for bedtime. The tabs I have are 3mg and I use a pill splitter and cut them in quarters. He gets a quarter of a tab. We had a mistake in a refill on his meds and was given the higher dose so I gave him more melatonin at night [20-30 minutes before bedtime] to help counteract it. [Dr's office gave me script for higher dose and I assumed it was right until I picked it up that night--a Friday night, of course--and found it was wrong].

Based on conversations with his teachers, I think we'll be going to the higher Concerta dose with an antidepressant next month. If that's not the best solution, then we'll be looking for a different ADHD medication. We've already tried Adderall XR, Metadate CD and now Concerta. He definitely needs long acting medication.

Maricell - posted on 02/04/2010

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Hi Heather, yes I have had that happen with my daughter when she was six years old. I talked to his therapist who then spoke to doctor and they started her on clonidine .1 mg to help her sleep. Hope that helps

Katrina - posted on 02/04/2010

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I'm so sorry Heather, I know what your going through. I raised one son with ADHD and about a month before he turned 18 I found out my 6 daughter has it as well. so here we go again. My son was on adderall for many years but never 3 times a day. That seems like too much to me. All those meds are stimulants and can severely affect their sleep. He was on an XR dose so we only gave it to him once a day as soon as he woke up and it would stay in his system for most of the day with it wearing off in the evening. He still had issues sleeping, we used Melatonin which helped a bit. also giving him the pill as early as possible in the am and we never gave it to him later than 9am on the weekends which helped. But it sounds like that med might not be right for your son. That's one of the really frustrating things about ADHD, it's all subjective. we have to trial and error everything, and that makes me really uncomfortable because it's hard to know we're doing the right thing. Good luck with this really tough task. take some deep breaths and try to treat every day new with your little guy. They will make progress but not like other kids so we have to be extremely patient. My heart goes out to you, I am in the exact same phase of finding the right med and dose now for my daughter. We're trying Vyvanse right now with mixed reviews, we tried Focalin XR but that made her really emotional. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Penny - posted on 02/04/2010

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i had that same problem with my son and I took him back to the doctor and they changed his meds.

Terri - posted on 02/04/2010

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When I first started my son on Adderall at age 5, he also started losing his appetite and wasn"t sleeping and the nights he did he sleep he would sleep walk, I notified my doctor and they balanced his adderall with strattera both very low doses and also gave him Clonidine for sleeping...he is age 10 now and is still taking Adderall and Clonidine, and his behavior has been great he no longer loses control and he asks every night for his"relaxation pill" this really worked for us.

Paula - posted on 01/29/2010

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My son (age 5) was on adderall at age 4 for about 6 months and then he started getting agressive again. He now takes Ritilin 30 mg (15 mg 2x a day.) It seems to have less side effects then the adderall.

Christina - posted on 01/28/2010

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my son has been off his adderall for 3 years and still has issues. not as bad as your child but bad enough i took him off and am still tring to figure it out. when he was on it he stopped sleeping and eating. last nite about 1am i was feeding my 3 week old and he got up and tried going out the front door while he was still asleep. hes been doing that since he was on adderall. my sone is now 6 and i refuse to put him on anything because of the side effects of the other meds. there are days i deel like im loosing my mind but what else can you do when all the meds they suggest have bad side effects.

Jeanette - posted on 01/28/2010

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My son got really depressed on adderall. I noticed it after him being on it for about 3 months. He just was not acting right. As mothers if we feel something in our gut like there is something wrong with our child we should always listen to that. It has never steered me wrong when it came to my child.

Natalie - posted on 01/28/2010

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He may not have adhd. When I was doing research into my daughter's condition we thought it might either be bi-polar, adhd, or autism. Her first psychiatrist recommended adderall, but I refused it after I researched it. It says that if your child is bi-polar that the adderall will actually worsen it, with bouts of aggression and screaming. Perhaps you should get a second opinion?

Kim - posted on 01/28/2010

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Yes, stop the medication and call the Dr. My son tried it when he was about 10 and it also made him very irritable. Stratera did the same! The ones that have worked the best have been Concert (low dose) the higher made him twitch, and Vyvanse. Good luck!!

Tanya - posted on 01/26/2010

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I went through this with my son and it happened in school. He just went off the deep end one day. I found out he was having a reaction to the medication and we had to switch him to Concerta which seems to be working really well for him with the exception of the occasional migraine from time to time.

Jeannine - posted on 01/24/2010

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that is a very high dose for a 5 yr old. they needed to start him on once a day dose & then go from there. adderall made my child very depressed & we stopped it after 3 days of him saying i feel sad, didn't want to get off the couch or bed or do anything. hopefully you stopped the medicine immediately & called your md.

Amanda - posted on 01/21/2010

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my daughter was crying saying her brain was on fire...here it was giving her migranes

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