Is this a normal thing

Rebecca - posted on 01/25/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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Hi! My 6 year old daughter just recently got diagnosed with ADHD. We started her on Concerta 18mg saturday. Today, she is very emotional during homework time and just kept crying. She also told me that today at recess that she didn't feel like playing outside and she just sat on the bench. (NOT HER)
She is just seems down. Does anyone know if these are normal emotions or do I need to talk to doctor?

24 Comments

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Rosemary - posted on 02/06/2010

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Rebecca,
My son is 11 and we to have dealt with it for many years. His meds include concerta 72 mg, sertaline 25mg (Zoloft for depression and anxiety), every morning - ritalin 15 mg at 2pm, and Trazadone at night to help him sleep. The doctor put him on the depression med after we told him how sad our son was all the time. It was much need and has helped him tremendously.

Dawn - posted on 02/06/2010

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Rebecca,
Unfortunately I think this is just how some kids adjust to the ADHD meds my son is 13 and we have battled problems since he was 5 and have tried many different meds most of them having a side affect of the depression. I have tried natural remedies recommended by my pediatrician and they unfortunately did not work for him. He is now on conerta 54 + 18mg and risperdal he had problems with anger and depression. He is so much better now and he can actually tell us when he doesnt think his meds are working anymore. They start to get in tune to their bodies after going through this for so long. ADHD is a very hard thing to deal with and it can be a long battle. I hope that things start to work out for you. Good Luck with everything.

Rebecca - posted on 02/04/2010

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I did call the doctor 2/3/10 to let them know they suggested me to keep the follow up appointment and that it just may be an adjustment to the medication for her. Today was so much better (no crying) and got through homework with no hiccups. I also had the IEP meeting at school this morning so we made adjustments. Her teacher she just is now seeing a different with her focus this week so maybe we are getting there. I am hanging in the best I know how to.

MICHELLE - posted on 01/30/2010

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I would keep a close eye on her until the medication has had time to properly get into her system. Do mention the change to the Doctor but, also give the medicine a chance to work. If there is no change after a month them request a new medication. You can also expect weightloss but, do not worry as long as she is healthy.

Denise - posted on 01/30/2010

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Hello! My 8 year old son has ADHD, he was diagnosed a few years ago, but didn't begin medication until a little over a year ago. They tried Straterra and now he's taking Vyvanse. When starting a new medication it is normal for kids to be a little more emotional while they adjust to the medication, but if if continues for a few days to a week let her doctor know. The doctor may tell you to wait it out or to have her checked for any signs of an oncomming illness. (Mine has been crying and moody all week and we found out he was getting an ear infection)

Either way, its something to keep a close eye on. Good luck!

Dena - posted on 01/29/2010

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We have the same problem with the after school homework. My oldest is 14 and has been on it since he was 7 and my youngest has been on it since he was 6. He is 9 now. It is something about the medication and coming off at the end of the day that makes them emotional. As far as the playing I am not sure. My youngest does get less active and less playful when he is on the medicine.
I keep my kids off of it on the weekends and on holidays. It kind of gives them a break and I figure I can deal with the behavior during the weekend by sending them outside.
Good luck
Dena

[deleted account]

Lisa - you are SO like me & my situation (your last para) - My son gets hungry the same time. Right now it is 7:31 - I made a pizza - he has absolutely no interest (& hasn't eaten since 7 AM) - but in an hour or so he'll start prowling in the kitchen. we have kind of given in as far as junk too - we'll let him eat a big bowl of ice cream, oreos, I'll stop if we're out and get fries, milkshakes, etc. to try to put the weight on - I would hate to get in that position where the dr says we may have to stop or try something else if he loses too much weight because - as you say in your last sentence, "He couldn't survive school without the meds" I know that's true cuz we tried up thru 5th grade and I believe he would be failing and our family would be a mess if we didn't have these meds. I'd be tearing my hair out/stressed - my husband & I would be fighting about it and my older son would be escaping in video games due to the yelling/fighting. Homework was SUCH a battle in 5th grade and beginning of 6th until we started the meds. I dreaded even picking my son up from school because I knew what I was in for the next 6 hours.

I also agree that there are mood swings but my son mostly stays in the "subdued, quiet, "down" reserved"" mood - he's still in it right now, in his own little world....but, we got math homework done without one cross word or raised voice! Praise the Lord!

Lisa - posted on 01/29/2010

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The crying while working on homework is probably because she wants to do it perfectly and can't. My son had this problem up until Middle School. Once we hit Middle School he'd maxed out on all the meds that are available. We tried other meds but nothing worked as well as what we are on now, which is the Daytrana patch 30 mg & a 10mg Ritalin to jump start him in the morning. He struggled with his writing and anything to do with reading, which is the 2 subjects he has problems with normally. But because of the meds he got real frustrated with himself because he could see it wasn't perfect. You may want to see if she is struggling with a certain subject or her writing or something else pertaining to school.
Mood swings are horrible with ADHD meds, most of the time both my kids want to be by themselves and do what they want to do. They are extremely focused with whatever they are doing and don't like it when I interrupt them. I have alot better conversations with both kids when they want to talk.
My daughter, I'm praying, will be getting off all ADHD meds, she is a sophmore in High School. She has more self control than my boy, which is typical of boys. My son I'm afraid will be on ADHD meds well into his adulthood.
As for the stomach pains, it is because they are not eating and the meds are like speed so it takes away their appetite. I tell my kids every morning if you can at least drink some milk at lunch, force yourself if you have to, then it will help. Both my kids are usually very dehydrated so I push soda pop, it has calories. My son still doesn't eat very well until 8 or 9pm. When he was smaller the doctor and I agreed that if I could get him to eat junk food, like cupcakes or cookies, something with some calories, that would help with his weight. My doctor threatened to take him off the meds that were working, if he kept loosing weight. He was loosing 4 pounds a month when he was about 9 or 10 years old and already skinny to begin with. So I pushed eating junk food and I would get up to make him something at 9 pm at night just to keep him on the meds. He couldn't survive school without the meds.

[deleted account]

Wendy - My son still has the stomachaches (see my post above) probably once or twice every week. I can't figure out if it's the Concerta or hunger pains because he doesn't eat all day - I FORCE breakfast on him - then he eats nothing from 7 AM and gets home around 3 and says his stomach is hurting (not every day) but won't eat, nothing appeals to him until about 8-9 PM, then he pigs out. So we take him off the Concerta on the weekends at drs. recommendation due to weight loss. (he's already skinny). I don't like these side effects (headaches too) but it has had such a WONDERFUL effect on his ability to focus - unbelievable, and has made our relationship at home with homework so much more pleasant! I just don't see any other alternative (FYI: I have tried all natural cures/treatments, fish oils, omega-3s, primrose oil, etc..recommended for ADHD before I tried medications)...THe dr. said, sometimes we have to put up with these side effects in order to get through school...because education is important. I agree. (note, we are 54 mg)

Wendy - posted on 01/29/2010

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Hi Rebecca! My son is 9 and he has been on the Concerta 18mg for about 3 wks. now. You're going through exactly what we did. The first week my son came home from school each day and just got so easily upset and cry. He would also complain he was full after eating small amounts, and complained his stomach hurt. (the stomach hurting was just a few days) He seems to have adjusted to the medicine now as the crying is much less frequent. Unfortunately the difference so far has been minimal. It's great that we have this board so we can pick eachother's brains that are going through the same thing.

[deleted account]

Maybe we are just lucky that he does not have any side effects. His school work has improved - still battling with his handwriting but a lot of other things are so much better.

Gretchen - posted on 01/29/2010

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Has his behaviour improved at all? Medications affect different people in different ways, and if it is doing what it is meant to do, then it's all good. The benefits my son gets from being on Concerta far outweigh the problem with the side effects. Does this help at all?

[deleted account]

I'm reading all these posts and now I'm puzzled. My son started Concerta last year September. He had none of the symptoms. To be honest we never even saw a difference in his personality, behaviour or appetite. He is still running around, bubbling and eating for 3 (hehehe). Although his OT said he is doing better since on the tablets. Am I missing something or am I wasting my money on the tablets???

Gretchen - posted on 01/28/2010

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My son still has mood swings sometimes, but not as often as when we first changed medication. His paediatrician says they are normal though, so I don't worry too much. He focusses a lot better on the medication, and see a marked difference if he doesn't take it, as can the school. I think if the moods are still causing you concern at your next appointment, let the doctor know :)

Rebecca - posted on 01/28/2010

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She has been better the last few days but today she did start the crying thing again at homework time and I just talked with her about her feelings and it seemed to help some. I am going to keep a journal of the times that I see a different in her behavior. The Concerta does seem to help her focus alot better but I am not sure about the mood swings.

Gretchen - posted on 01/28/2010

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How is your daughter now hun? My son has been on Concerta 36mg for nearly 8 months, and I remember him having the same moodiness when we first changed.

Lisa - posted on 01/28/2010

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If she is acting not herself, she is probably over-medicated. I would go to your doctor as soon as you can and have him change the mg to 10. If you still think she is acting not herself you may need to change from Concerta to another medication. Both my kids (boy 13 & girl 15) have been on Concerta and have gotten use to it and we've gone through all the milligrams. So we've had to change to a different pill. Actually my son has had ADHD since 1st grade, he has went through all the pills and is now on the Daytrana patch. Good luck and hope this helps.

Lynn - posted on 01/27/2010

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My son was moody with Focalin for the first few days, then was fine. Conversely, when he goes off of it (we tried taking him off of it on non-school days at the recommendation of someone), he also gets moody. So we've found consistency is key. We try to do it the exact same time every day and to not skip a day. Even the couple of times he's forgotten, he ended up moody a couple of days afterward. But then each kid is different too, and since the Concerta is new for your child, definitely keep an eye out. A journal's perfect!

[deleted account]

My son is on Concerta 54 mg. He has been on this for over 6 months. He also tried Focalin and Vyvanse before that and kind of had the reaction you're talking about with one of those. I remember being puzzled by it. I would say keep watch on it, keep a log (I still do this) of her behavior and if it continues definitely bring it up to dr. My son's personality IS different on the Concerta. He is quiet, subdued, almost seeming a bit "down", not talkative - normally he is super talkative and "happy". It's kind of sad but there is nothing else to do to get him through school. He is 13 - He admits the med is helping him and knows why he needs to take it. Don't give up.

Rebecca - posted on 01/26/2010

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Thanks for the advice. Today is day 4 on medication. I am going to start keeping a journal and maybe I can tract when she does indeed come down off the meds. I am hoping that this her systoms are just her getting used to it.

Tammy - posted on 01/26/2010

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you know my six year old son went through that the first day we put him on the medication he was whining didn't want me to leave his side so he could go to school so i just said goog bye and walked out the door i felt really bad about it though but he made it through the day and now the medication has really changed his life dramically he can now sit in his normal classroom which is a plus cuz he used to wonder around the halls do to not being able to sit still and is now more ready to learn and it is great having him be able to stay on one subject and be able to tell me all about his day we are having more good days than bad

Meghan - posted on 01/25/2010

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Hi Rebecca,
My guess would be it is side effects of the Concerta. I'm not a doctor, but I know certain medications can effect their moods, behaviors, sleep patterns and appetites. I would keep a close eye on her and if she is still feeling the same way, I would bring it up to her doctor or the child phsychologist if she is seeing one.

Terri - posted on 01/25/2010

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How long has she been on medication? Typically, the first month or so is rather rough, but then it evens out. The emotional issue sounds a lot like a "meltdown", which is when the medication is dissipating in her system. It takes time for the child to learn how to make the transition. One thing we did was have "calm time" after school. A snack, some tv time and then it was time for homework. That seemed to give them time to "switch off".

I think the hardest adjustment for me (my two are now nearly 17 and 16, diagnosed at age 5), was the calm and the fact they were no longer running around like crazy. It was weird to see them be able to sit and read, or play quietly, or just not run through the house or have a discussion covering 5 different topics in 39 seconds.

I'm not sure which saturday you started her on.... be prepared for difficulty sleeping, poor appetite, more whiny than normal, and just feeling "eh" for a while. Once she gets accustomed to the medication, her personality will start to shine through again.

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