Taking weekend or Holidays from the meds?

Moriah - posted on 12/30/2008 ( 42 moms have responded )

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I'm very confused on wheather or not it is safe to let my son have a holiday from his meds. Our ped. says its completely up to me. He currently takes Concerta 18mg and I can't say I love it but its better than the Vyvanse which caused very scary vision problems any input would be very helpful!

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Jennifer - posted on 01/17/2009

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There is no comparison between diabetes and ADHD. Why do people keep comparing the two??? If you do not take your diabetes medication, you can DIE. If you don't take your ADHD med, you could be hyper, unable to focus, etc.......but I'm hard pressed to believe that it would kill you to not have a med for a few days or weeks. It is a personal decision......and you have the right to do otherwise. But, comparing it to diabetes is trying to make us feel like we're doing something wrong, which we're not. Find something else to compare it to.

Pat - posted on 01/16/2009

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Buy reading all the replies vacations are individually based. I tend not to believe what MD's say rather I'd like to read the studies and research for myself.
Everyone knows their child best!

Mandy - posted on 01/18/2009

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Stimulant drugs like Concerta do not duild up in the system and only work when you give the drug and dont if you dont! My only issue about taking a vaca from the drug for me is I try and teach my child that this is something he needs for a reason and ADHD not only is problem focusing but also it will affect relationships between him and his friends and you dont want his friends to wonder why sometimes he is "crazy" and sometimes he is not. Also his ADHD could and probably will still be with him in his teenage and adult years and there is proof that medicated kids from early on are less likely to try drugs so I think to take them every day is important. I do cut my sons pills in half sometimes depending on what we are doing, if it is something stimulating that he can let alot of energy out. Thats what works for us! good luck!

[deleted account]

i take my son off his meds most weekends and the school holidays, and only using it during these times if there is a special occasion that we have that he has to be on his best behaviour. it all depends on how severe his adhd is too, and how you can cope with out the meds, as most of us know it is just as hard for us as it is for them! all i can say is give one weekend a try and see how it all goes. i just love seeing my son being a normal kid when he's not on the meds. good luck and i hope that all goes well.

Stacy - posted on 01/14/2009

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Quoting Pat:

Going on medication holidays are like starting over again, who needs that!


If that were the case, I'm sure my son's doctor wouldn't have suggested letting him take holidays from the meds.

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Cheri - posted on 04/05/2012

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When your child will not eat a meal give them peanuts or peanut butter or anything with fiber as a snack. That is what my child's Dr. told me.

Richelle - posted on 01/17/2009

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Our doctor explained it like this. If you have diabetes do you take a break from that medication? I agree it's a personal decision but if my brain was "not concentrating" and I had a medication to help I would not stop it.

Jen - posted on 01/16/2009

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Quoting Pat:

Buy reading all the replies vacations are individually based. I tend not to believe what MD's say rather I'd like to read the studies and research for myself.
Everyone knows their child best!






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You would rather rely on a study done by someone that might possibly be a student or someone without a medical degree?...that is what most studies are, mostly done by pharmaceutical companies so their drug looks good, and for most drugs given today that are in that category they are too new to have proper medical research done.....the doctor's of today are the one's with the most information and as a parent I personally have to be held responsible for being the one to make sure my doctor has the up and up on what and why my child is taking those particular meds! Yes, every child is individual but the commonalities of our children that we are discussing on these types of boards may help explain some people's questions or queries as to why their child is displaying a certain behavior or side effect.



Jennifer - posted on 01/16/2009

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Quoting Pat:

Buy reading all the replies vacations are individually based. I tend not to believe what MD's say rather I'd like to read the studies and research for myself.
Everyone knows their child best!



All I have to say is WOW. 

Carol - posted on 01/14/2009

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My son is 8 and has been on Ritilan LA for the past two years.  He just went from 10mg to 20mg.  We did start out trying concenta but it kept him up till all hours of the night and before we went up to the 20mg of Ritilan LA we tried the new Patch..Daytrona.  That was scay for us..he became depressed and didn't eat much and it was like night and day after he took it off.  So we went to the 20mg.  As for "vacations" he does not take it on weekend or school breaks.  He handles himself very well on the days that he does not take it.  He needs it more to keep his MIND from wandering then his body.  And since once he took that patch off he was a different boy and come about 7pm he is a differnt boy when on the ritlian then I am sure it does not build up in the system...it is a day to day dose.



Our doctor is fine with him takeing breaks and if yours is too then don't worry about it.



 



Carol

Jen - posted on 01/14/2009

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Quoting Pat:

I am a RN and saw a panel disscussion on this topic. Going on medication holidays are like starting over again, who needs that! Once you get on a good routine don't stop!



Most meds given these days are slow release drugs that end up leaving the body completely so there is no build up in the body therefore there is no "routine" and doctor's are obligated to tell a parent if this was the case if they were taking their child on and off meds as this would be highly unsafe for the child!

Jennifer - posted on 01/14/2009

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Quoting Pat:

I am a RN and saw a panel disscussion on this topic. Going on medication holidays are like starting over again, who needs that! Once you get on a good routine don't stop!



My mother is also an RN, and we did it at the doctors suggestion.  It is NOT like starting over again if the med does not build up in your system.  They are completely out of your system by later on that night.  There are some that you need to take everyday no matter what because they slowly build a level up in your body.....most ADHD meds do not build up a level, therefore it is not damaging to take "holidays."

Pat - posted on 01/14/2009

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I am a RN and saw a panel disscussion on this topic. Going on medication holidays are like starting over again, who needs that! Once you get on a good routine don't stop!

Stacy - posted on 01/13/2009

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My son (8) takes Straterra (10mg 2/day) and I don't give it to him on the weekends, and very rarely on extended holidays. He's is currently learning new ways to help him focus without the meds and in order for me to know if they are working, he has to do it without the meds.

Kelly - posted on 01/12/2009

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My son does't take his meds on weekends,holidays,or during summer vacation.You just need to find out from his doctor if his med is a time release or not.The dr will tell you if its ok or not .My son just doesn't eat very well so my husband and I talked to the doctor and decided if we could handle his behavior then we wouldn't give it to him. His appetite is better on the weekends so we believe he makes up for what he doesn't eat during the week. He is 11 years old and we've been doing this since he started taking meds at the age of four.

Mary - posted on 01/12/2009

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My son is on adderall and I try not to give it to him on weekends or vacations unless I know we are going to be going out with alot of stimulus.  My son is only 7 but he will tell me if he thinks he needs it because he is going to a friends house to play.  He knows it helps him with his control but it also gives him a chance to test himself when he is not on it.  He stayed at a friends house one day and my friend said she couldn't believe it but my son had gotten upset when they were playing outside and started crying so he came in and about 5 minutes later he came out all smiles and told her he just had to take a moment.  We have been working with him on when he has the outbreaks to go to his room till he has calmed himself down then he can come back and play so it was nice to know he can do that even when he is not at home.  We also take him off his meds because they cause a loss of appetite.  When he is not on them he will eat all day long, I don't mind because I feel he makes up for what he doesn't eat at school during the week.  He is borderline under weight so this is a good thing. 



If your doctor says it is ok you might want to try for a weekend and see how well he copes.

Tracy - posted on 01/11/2009

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Bailey loses complete control if she's off her meds more than two days. Christmas break was hell on everyone, ending with me locking myself in my bedroom and crying into my pillow for about ten minutes while my hubby took over. The only reasons I've given her days "off" up until now are because of her lack of appetite/weight loss and the fact she can't swallow pills yet. We're looking forward to trying the patch later this week, and I intend to keep her on that EVERY day. It's a personal choice, but like someone said in another thread and to me once (I'm bipolar and on meds), a diabetic wouldn't take a break from insulin for weekends or break...I know if I give myself a "break," I end up in VERY bad shape. I need to instill in my daughter the discipline to take the meds she needs to function on a daily basis.

Jennifer - posted on 01/11/2009

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My 8 year old takes Adderall XR, and I let her skip weekends and breaks from school. The med definitely does what it's suppose to.....she is calm while on them. She does, however, express that she hates the way the med makes her feel. She gets all the side effects......supressed appetite, insomnia, headaches, stomach pains, SEVERE anxiety(she peels the skin off her hands and feet, and pulls her hair out,) and she becomes depressed and emotional. Her med is a stimulant that doesn't have to build up in her system to work, so the MD said it was allright to let her skip days when she's out of school. She's a handfull when she's off the meds, and she eats me out of house and home, but it's worth it to see her happy. She's a different child when she's on the meds. We took her off for Christmas break, and at the end she had went up two pants sizes.....which was wonderful because she was underweight. The off days are definitely hard for me, but I've learned to cope because it seems to be what is best for her.

Mary - posted on 01/02/2009

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Oh, also, my daughter's medication is monitored by her pediatric neurologist. He treats her for both AD/HD and epilepsy (mainly because some AD/HD medications can cause problems with seizures and since she aready has epilepsy, we need to be extra cautious about this.) Her anxiety medication is monitored by her therapist (who is a nurse practicioner) but she does everything in connection with our neurologist.

Mary - posted on 01/02/2009

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We don't allow Julia to take "vacations" from her Adderall XR. Mainly because Julia is also on medication for epilepsy and for anxiety, and we don't want her to think she could take "vacations" from those medications (especially the Depakote for epilepsy.)



Personally, I wouldn't stop the medication - but that's just me.

Jen - posted on 01/02/2009

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Also, we have been dealing with his pediatrician in regards to his meds but he has been going through psycological education testing with a psycologist and she has concluded that she has not seen a difference in him when he is on his meds compared to him on them but she has seen where they would become effective when there is 20 other kids in the classroom and he can't have one on one with the teacher. The help with the chaos, keeping his mind on track when everyone around him is doing other things.

Jen - posted on 01/02/2009

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My son has been on 18mg of Concerta for almost a year and we only use the medicine on school days. We do not medicate on weekends and holidays. In the summertime he is in daycare full time and does take them but does not the week he goes to summer camp. He has had no problems with stopping and starting retaking them. I notice his appetite is a bit off for a couple days after he starts up again but doesn't last long. He is only medicated to help with the concentration on schooling and we feel it is up to us as parents to deal with the behaviours and such at home on our own.

[deleted account]

i let both of my sons have weekends and holiday's off, you can see the difference but i think its good for them, they both take concerta one is 18mg and the other is 32mg, they always are bouncing off the wall for a couple of hours then tone down, but its up to you, happy new year!

Jackie - posted on 01/02/2009

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Hi ! My son was 5 1/2 when he stared taking his meds. Now is 10 and I made up my mind to take him off it slowly. Frist the weekend then next the holidays. He works hard for it . I know it's not easy but we are doing it together as a team. Making him understand it like (If You want to get off the meds You have to control Your minded I can't do it for You)! This is what I say to him when we talk. A.D.H.D/O.D.D runs in my family and both (sister/brother)frist child was and still are but they leaned to control it age 10-14.Or right it dosen't work for everone but all you can do is try..Like I say to myself every day. One day at a time and tomorrow mite be deffent.

Windy - posted on 01/02/2009

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i don't let my son not take his meds on weekends and holidays, etc. consistency is key. if you want the meds to do their job, you need to give them as directed. does he notice a difference when he takes them and when he doesn't? it's not going to help him if he doesn't take them. personally, i can hardly tolerate my son if he misses a dose.

Lisa - posted on 01/01/2009

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Such a presonal decision on a case by case basis... I personally don't let my 12 yr old have a 'break' becasue I don't want her to become lax in taking what she truly needs. For her, I need her to recognize that until she developes life skills to combat her physiological defeciencies, that she must take her meds. Our lives would change for the worse if she thought she could decide when and when not to take them.....

Kim - posted on 01/01/2009

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i don't give my son meds on week long vacations from school and all summer. it works for me. he takes 36 mg concerta...no problems when it's longer than a weekend. but just for a weekend it seems he bounces off the wall.

[deleted account]

My sons meds are prescribed and monitored by a psychiatrist who specializes in these meds. My pediatrician has no idea how these work. Curious how many families are using a pediatrician and how many are using a psychiatrist.

Laura - posted on 01/01/2009

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My daughter has been on concerta for 2 1/2 years and the first summer I gave her a break from it and on the weekends . Her doctor said their is no problem with it at all .My daughter is now 10 and I wanted to take her off the meds this past summer but she wanted to take the meds since she notices a difference on how she acts she has a very hard time making friends when she is not taking the medicine .

Julie - posted on 01/01/2009

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Our pediatrician is very active with our daughter's treatments and we take her in more often to track her progress while on the medication. He suggested from the get go to give her breaks at our discretion.

Amy - posted on 12/31/2008

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My Dr gave me some good advice on stopping meds for a holiday. He asked me if adhd takes a holiday? I replied no and he said there is your answer. Although I liked the Concerta it stopped working and the higher dosage was too strong for my son. We tried two more and then took him off all together. Since stopping the meds my son gained 12 pounds, he was way underweight for his height, he sleeps better, and is doing ok in school. I am glad with our decision to take him off. Good Luck.

Jen - posted on 12/31/2008

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My daughter takes Focalin 20 mg. We never stop her medicine. We did one time, and it was a disaster. The day we gave it back to her, she was zombie and was so disorientianted. The next day she was fine. I don't agree with the starting and stopping of meds, and our peditrician does not either. He feels that it is not fair to her.

Moriah - posted on 12/31/2008

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Thanks for all the help! I guess the biggest reason I want to be able to give him "holidays" is to lesson they chance af negetive side effects yes it is alittle harder to handle him while he's off them but I just remind myself he's trying he hade a veery scary side effect on Vyvance and now I'm worried about long term effect. At this point meds are our only option not only for his behavior but for his self estem.

Sarah - posted on 12/31/2008

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I HAVE READ IN A FEW DIFFERENT BOOKS THAT STARTING AND STOPPING CAN PUT A STRAIN ON THE HEART...SINCE IT IS A STIMULANT I WOULD BE RELUCTANT TO MESS WITH IT...I TOOK MY SON OFF OF IT ALL TOGETHER

Colleen - posted on 12/30/2008

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If your Dr. says its ok then I wouldn't see why not. My son is on adderall and even forgetting that dose by an hour or two is a killer! I couldn't imagine stopping it for a period of time.

However, my older son has PDD and takes risperdal and I have talked to his neuro about taking time off from that. We discussed taking off 2 weeks to see how he does since he has been on it since he was 25months. I am hoping to give it a try once we settle back into the routine after the holidays are over.

[deleted account]

Good info thanks. My 10 yr old is not having much success on the non stimulants but with his severe anxiety stimulants are trying to be avoided by his Dr. we tried a very low dose of adderall on top of strattera but he had to stop because of side effects. :( Frustrating!!!!!!

Sonja - posted on 12/30/2008

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Some meds (like straterra or wellbutrin) have to be taken daily and build-up in the system. Stimulant meds (like adderall, concerta, ritalin etc) only work the day you take them and have no ongoing effect. They can be skipped without causing any harm. Some people take "holidays" on weekends etc, usually because of side-effects like appetite suppression. Younger kids usually do better with daily meds just because they know what to expect of their brains and level of control (as do their parents, teachers etc). Older kids and adults often only take meds on days they need them, like test days, big project due etc. Presumably by that time, they have better control even off meds.

[deleted account]

I always thought suddenly stopping meds ( especially when several are taken) was a risk. Some meds have acute withdrawl symptoms. I would ask your Dr.

Julie - posted on 12/30/2008

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When my daughter is off medication, she really eats a lot and I mean, a lot! That's a huge plus especially since the Concerta suppresses her appetite during the week. For school they have these new "healthy" eating guide lines for the district they want everyone to conform to, but they can't control the kids who bring their lunch. I still pack my daughter's lunch and I don't mind adding 1 or 2 "junky" treats (example: chocolate chip cookies, Cheezits, etc.) to encourage some appetite. She's maintaining weight, not gaining though so she's slim.

Susan - posted on 12/30/2008

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My son takes Conserta 18mg. I am about to have a fit, I don`t have to set my clock and know at 7:00 wild time begins. No I don`t take mine off at all. It won`t be productive for him or any of the rest of us.He`s just WIDE OPEN and couldn`t be still or quiet for a min. The only trouble we have is at lunch, his appetite is not good. That`s my only gripe with it.I just let him eat whatever between meals to add extra calories.

Julie - posted on 12/30/2008

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It doesn't work well for everyone. I have learned this from talking to other parents I know. Some kids have like a roller coaster emotional effect being off and getting back on and can't really afford to take the break and need to stay on it constantly.

For us, it does work and we practice giving a "medication vacation." We have been able to keep my daughter's dose quite low. She's only had 1 increase in the ~4 years she has been on it. She doesn't take it on weekends, holidays, and vacations. Totally helps with the medication cost as well by not taking it everyday. We pay actual cost though we use flex spending. She can be a handful sometimes on non-medication days but in the long run she does well and she gets her break from it.

[deleted account]

We don't let Joey stop taking his meds on weekends, summer break, or vacations. Since it takes a while for the meds to build up and take effectiveness, we don't want to start over from square one when he goes back to school. I hate to say it but I can't stand it when he is off his meds. Others have problems controlling him when he doesn't take his meds. Right now he is at winter camp for three days and they have the meds to give him in the morning. If he didn't get it, he would be in fights and they would be calling us to come and get him again.

My suggestion is, pick a weekend and see how he does off the meds. Also see how he does the next few days when he takes his meds to see if there are any problems. If it works out, and you have no problems then its a matter of personal preference.Hope this helps.

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