ADHD / BiPolar Medication for 12 year old son

Katie - posted on 03/28/2016 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi there. My step-son has been on various ADHD medications since he was 6 years old (Adderal, Concerta, Daytrana, etc). He is now 12 and we have him on Adderol XR 30 mg once a day. We recently tried adding Intuniv 2mg and didn't see any improvement. His psychiatrist is suggesting that we try treating him for ADHD and BiPolar because some of his behaviors are becoming very extreme She has recommended adding Abilify to his daily medication routine. I am curious if any of your children have been on this medication combo and if you received positive or negative results?

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Raye - posted on 03/28/2016

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It's recommended to go slow with the dosage of Abilify. Start low, give it a couple weeks, then up it a little if needed, give it a few weeks, wash-rinse-repeat. If you get to 10-15 weeks and there's no change, or the changes are not the desired result, you may need to try something else. Unfortunately there's no magic cocktail that helps everyone. Many times there's a lot of trial and error.

Katie - posted on 03/28/2016

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We tried the Intuniv for 9 weeks, starting with 1mg and increasing slowly to 2mg and we never reached a higher dose than that (it goes up to 4mg, I believe). Once it was decided that it seemed to exacerbate some issues and showed no obvious relief of others, we decided to take him off and again went from 2mg, to 1mg to none. So currently he is on only the Adderol XR 30 mg but if he is truly bi-polar then the Adderol alone can be causing some of the more severe behavior we are seeing.

I agree that diet, exercise and sleep can definitely improve the day-to-day for ADHD kids. As such, he is an incredibly active kid and we have a pretty strict bedtime regime (he does need melatonin occasionally to help him sleep) and his dad is a Contrator by and a amateur chef at night (lucky us), so he eats well, too.

Raye - posted on 03/28/2016

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How recently did you start the Intuniv? Many of these medications take several weeks to see noticeable improvement. I would not want to add more medications until it's obvious what effects are occurring with the ones he's taking now.

I hope you are also making sure that he has proper nutrition, exercise, and good sleep habits. These three things can help behaviors in both ADHD and bi-polar kids.

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