How do you know when to use medication for ADHD? INTUNIV?

Jane - posted on 06/03/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )

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Who should you believe? What happens when you get conflicting reports? What happens when you have 2 interpretations of the same evaluations? What about when the mother's family and the father's family disagree? Everyone always has the child's best interest in mind, and it would be hard to believe that someone would or would not use a medication with any other intention than to help the situation. Has anyone out there experienced this? How do you mediate peacefully?

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Beth - posted on 01/01/2012

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We chose medication after all other options were exhausted and did not work. We tried diet changes, every discipline system you can think of , counciling , supplements . Once that was all exhausted we went to medication. It was a hard choice , but it was one we had to make. Once other options have been explored and don't work both sides might decide and agree on that medication is the better answer.

Catherine - posted on 06/08/2011

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do what you think is best for your child not what your parents or husbands parents think is best even though they have the best intrest in mind . my mother was not for the meds with my son so i put it off and didnt let him get them . he ended up doing realy bad in school and didnt pass. he came to me one day and said he couldnt learn because everything was moving to fast in his head so he couldnt get the right answer he was only 5yrs when he told me this . when he said this i stoped listening to my parents and got the meds he is now 8yrs and doing great in school . he will even ask me for the meds if i forget because he says he doesnt like the way he feels without them. he has no control without the meds. the new drug intuniv is what my son is on and its a non stimulant so he cant become adicted to it and someday he will beable to come off it . you should try it you can always stop the treatment later if you want .

Barbara - posted on 06/08/2011

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I agree that the conversations should be between you and your husband, Dr and child--not anyone else. We have been on intuniv,and it works great, we use strattera 25 in the AM and Intuniv 4 about 4:30 to cut down on sleepiness. My son is ADHD with scensory--a lot of impulsivity. It has made a huge difference in school, is relationship with his friends as well as at home. I feel like, we see the true child, and his self asteem has improved so much. We had many outside opinions, before we started meds, now all of those opposed see the positive results

Sandie - posted on 06/07/2011

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I have two children who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. I don't believe either child has hyperactivity just the inability to focus. The older one is an adult now and still takes meds to control it. He also uses behavior adjustment therapy to help cope. He seems to do ok. My younger one is only 7 and we tried behavior modifications but she didn't resond well. We have been on Adderall since Winter break and she seems to be doing ok. She has other disability issues so it is difficult to figure out if it is the ADD or something else. She is FASD (fetal alcohol sydrome disorder and that includes street drugs such as Meth in her case). This syndrome includes ADD as well as other issues. We tried Ritalin but it was ineffective. We switched to Adderall and she is able to focus. During the summer, we try to reduce her days on drugs. It makes a big difference in her attitude and behavior and ability to complete school work. We do find that if she does not get enough exercise time, she finds it difficult to sleep at night. The Adderal is given at breakfast and lasts most of the day.



We have had to deal with the school and their IEP team and they tend to make outlandish suggestions. I know they think they are trying their best but they aren't around all the time. Most of the IEP team is young and book smart but most don't have children and haven't learned the daily aspect of ADD/ADHD/FASD. It seems her dr seems to know. We just have to stay on top of everything. The drug works for her but we also have some behavior modication going on as well. Good luck to you.

Angela - posted on 06/07/2011

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you keep and open mind and realize that all medication has risks and benifits. you try one and hope it works. if not you try another. i found one that works for my son now but we go in for evalusatipns every 6 months. he takes concerta 18mg once a day. it works on his impulse control. his reading level jumped 4 levels in 2 months of taking it. I know that is may not work forever, but it helps for now and thats all i can ask. the only side effects we see are appitite loss but we deal with this with good breakfast and bed time snack when it wears off at night. good luck finding something that works for you and your son.

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Sandra - posted on 01/04/2012

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Hi Jane, we did not medicate our eldest who is high functioning autistic, but we agonised for several months over medicating our middle child then it was the best decision to make so we did it. When the third was dxed ADD behaviourally we had no real choice other than to medicate. For my dh & myself, it was OUR decision as they are our children, so we weighed up what we were told by the paeds with the behaviours we were experiencing, plus we tried everything else we could think of first then made the decision to medicate. Take all the advice & opinions you're given on board but it's the parents' decision alone based on all of their experiences and advice IMHO. Good luck!

Beth - posted on 01/01/2012

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Gail~ ADD is now classified as ADHD-I or inattentive type. I am ADD and was diagnosied as a child , not hyper but couldn't pay attention. Let me tell you that I wished my mother had medicated me , I struggled through school not living up to my full potential because I just could not pay attention , finish my work, remember things. I am on vyvance now working on my degree in Space Studies. I've only gotten 2 Cs in my studies. For me medication has been a God send. Write down all side effects she has and report them to her dr. Intuniv is a non stimulant , she may need s stimulant, but also I believe the non stimulants take longer to get into the system and show improvement.



My daughter is on short acting focalin 10 mg twice a day.

Gail - posted on 12/29/2011

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New to this. My 5-1/2 yr old daughter was just diagnosed with severed ADHD.......but really just the ADD part. Not sure why this has now be classified together. She is quite figity, but nothing extreme. We were made aware of the problem by her kindergarten teacher during our 1st parent/teacher conference. She felt my daughter was not where she should be academically, which we felt we had noticed as well. We had her evaluated at a Psychological Developmental Center and they said she was ADHD and recommened Intuniv to help her memory. I cried most of the appointment. She took her 2nd dose of this med last night (1 mg) and already has had 3 or 4 episodes of crying out today and is now taking a nap, which she never does. I have cried myself for the last hour. She is the happiest, most outgoing, great little girl ever......and I can't believe I am taking that away from her so that she can learn. I just read pages of this blog and can NOT believe what I am reading. She is not hyper, impulsive or disobedient. She just simply can NOT stay focused long and remember. She is at the top of her class in social and verbal skills and NO ONE would ever know she had any type of neuro disorder. So I sit here....crying.......wondering.......have I done the right thing for her? I don't want to see her develp all of these issues associated w/ Intuniv, or become a different child. She does well in school, she listens, doesn't blurt out.........just a little more talkative than others.........she just can't remember. WHAT DO I DO????? Oh Lord God help me make the right decision for her.......PLEASE GOD.

Ashley - posted on 12/14/2011

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My son was diagnosed with ADHD he is hyper and he cannot focus in school.We had him on Concerta but it gave him bad side effects.Now they have him on Intuniv he just started it lastnight.What are your thoughts on this med?

Rebecca - posted on 06/08/2011

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My ex and step-son were not medicated and they have always had bad social skills and dropped out of school and went to prison. I am choosing to medicate my son so he can at least make friends, pass school and I'm hoping that will lead to making better choices than his dad and half-brother. He may make better choices and he may not, but I at least want him to have the chance they didn't have. Kids with ADHD do well when they feel they are succeeding and without meds it's hard for them to get good grades and be socially accepetable.

Brenda - posted on 06/08/2011

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I think that ADHD affecting school work has to factor in to the decision. We are considering starting our 8 year old on medication for the next school year. She had some minor issues in preschook and Kindergarten but in 1st grade, it really started to effect her learning. She also became disruptive in her class due to her impulsivity. She already sees a neurologist so I trust her opinion and are working closely with her.

Amber - posted on 06/08/2011

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My suggestion is also to make sure that medication is managed through a child psychiatrist over a family physician or pediatrician. They truly are the most educated about how these drugs affect our children, the pros and cons, and a good one will ensure your child is included in the process. Their professional advice on the matter is much more valuable and worthy of attention.

Jane - posted on 06/08/2011

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Ya know, we never asked him how he felt. The problem is right now that he is not himself at all. Once we start weaning him off i think i am going to set up an appointment with a psychologist and really try to figure out how he feels about all of this. Besides families disagreeing please keep in mind i get a lot of conflicting reports from professionals.

Amber - posted on 06/08/2011

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What does the child want to do? If the child is feeling a loss of control inside, they may welcome the change the medication can bring. I have two with ADHD. One doesn't take meds because she doesn't like the way they make her feel AND her symptoms aren't severe. My other I wouldn't allow to go without meds because he truly needs them to live life as a functional and rational person and to make friends. It's for his advantage first and everyone else next. I am all for medicating a child when it has such a huge advantage. What the outside family thinks doesn't matter. It's between your child, you and your husband. You may try meds and find you all would rather go without them. But ultimately, it's YOUR choice and the child's opinion should come first. Additionally, you can take your child off meds if you all decide it's not working. :)

Jane - posted on 06/08/2011

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Thank you all for the great replies. I have little to none experience with this so every little bit of info helps. He was never diagnosed with ADHD. The neurologist said that he gave up to easy on hard tasks and need to pay more attention so he could get his grades up. His problem is dyslexia and language disorder. He has been on INTUNIV for the last 3 weeks and the side effects he experiencing are freighting. He is no longer ticklish! His face is just hanging there, his social skills that used to be what all the teachers were so impressed by aren't there anymore. Those are just some of the side effects. After seeing the doctor yesterday she agreed this what not the right drug and he is going to start to be weaned off and started on Focalin over the next couple of weeks. I still think teaching him coping skills and maybe some OT would be the healthest choice but I hope I am putting my trust in the right doctor. I have been taking videos and keeping a journal of everything occurring. I cry when I watch the videos of before the med and after the med I really think writing is helping me sort through all my thoughts.

Lisa - posted on 06/07/2011

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My son was diagnosed with ADHD 4 yrs ago. He is not hyper but could not focus in school, and was ultimately held back in 1st grade.
When we got the referral from his school of possible attention issues, we talked to his pediatrician who referred us to a neurologist. We had other concerns as well (possible low grade CP due to his constant drawling and low muscle tone issues) however after several test we were giving the diagnoses of ADHD.
We had him on Ritalin 2 times a day which he didn’t like; he complained it made his head feel funny and that he couldn't sleep. So after two months of waiting to see if these side effects would go away his doctor switched him to Focalin once a day, my son could sleep now but became more of a zombie and said his head and body didn’t feel like they were his. So after another 2 months waiting to see if these side effects would disappear and they didn’t I decided to take my son off of the meds. (I of course discussed this with his doctor) we decided to try some behavioral therapy.
My son is doing great. He has passed every grade since, he does still have moments of intense inability to focus, but we just make sure we re-enforce the behavioral techniques we have learned and he gets right back on track.
There is no right or wrong way to treat ADHD... you have to find what works for your child. I have friends who cannot do behavioral therapy alone, others who only do medication, and many who do both. Work with your doctor and talk with your child, and you will find what works best for your child. One thing to keep in mind is that many times children under the age of 12 get misdiagnosed with ADHD, and in fact are just being children and don’t have the disorder at all.

Good Luck!!

Jessica - posted on 06/07/2011

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We went through 2 years of family therapy before considering medication. The decision was one of the most difficult ones that I've had to make in her treatment. However, it was also one of the best ones. At 6 years old, most children are not in tune with their triggers and body responses to know how to cope when they start to swing into an upward episode. I started my daughter at minimal doses to see what kind of effect it would have. In the end, you and your child's father are the ONLY two people that matter in the decision making process. Your extended family doesn't have the pleasure of living day after day with the symptoms. They can have an opinion but until they live it day after day they're not truly going to know what's best. And in the end, a simple "We're exploring all treatment options at this time." is the best way to stop any debates. Be strong!

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