next step(ADHD)..need Advice.

Lauren - posted on 09/12/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )




My Daughter now 8 was diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarten. She barely passed 1st, 2nd was a struggle and now we are in 3rd. She has a great teacher who is really patient but Her pediatrician sent us to a specialist about 2 years ago. we have been on Adderall, Focalin, vyvance, Concerta, Intuniv.... Nothing seems to work we are on Focalin 15 mg xr but its not lasting past lunch. The Specialst called me the other day said were going back to Concerta the problem is My daughter cant swallow that pill and if she does she ends up with blisters and will not take it makes mornings a struggle. I got really upset with the Dr. bc they gave us 2 choices go to 2 pills aday on concerta 18 mg or even though they dont want to go up to 20 mg on the focalin but I have to make sure she eats every 2 hours and drinks bc she can dehydrate and be hospitalized. shes skinniny already she weighs 53lbs and is like 4 foot 3. They told me this was all they can do for me and we may need to set her up with a Psych??? shes not a bad child just really hyper and cant focus in school it effects her relationships, her grades. I feel like they are not trying to help and I have asked for adderall back b/c she did better but was moody and they wont it has the worst side effects. what should I do? why cant they make this med kid friendly?


Melissa - posted on 09/15/2011




We tried the daytrana patch and it worked great for our son until he decided he would not leave it on. If you are having issues with the doctor and the medications I would find another doctor or get a second opinion. For us, once on the right medication and the right dose I couldn't ask for better from my kids. It's getting there that sometimes is the struggle. With our son it took several meds and trying different doses until we got it right. With our daughter, we got it right on the first try. Good luck to you.


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Heather - posted on 10/03/2011




Take the offer on the Psych!!!! They are your best refence point for medications etc as that is what they deal with exclusively, a family Dr or Pedi is a generalist , knowsa fair amount about everything, but Phych specializes and studies these sorts of things exclusively!!! My Phych for my son was a Godsend!!! It took years, but was the best thing we ever did!!!

Jackie - posted on 09/29/2011




I would seek advice from a second pediatrician. My sons pediatrician has listened to me every step of the way. Even though he has disagreed that I don't give him his medicine if he isn't in school, it is my decision. You as a parent knows first hand on what works for your child. Like your daughter, my son was diagnosed in kindergarten. Also, you have the right at school to request "extra" help such as school resources, special ed, etc. I am not saying that any child is dumb, they just need the extra help in school. Request that she be tested in school before it is too late. Good luck and keep us posted :D

Kim - posted on 09/27/2011





I'm you give your daughter her adhd meds during the summer as well? Does she have an IEP at school? What type of testing do they give her and special educational needs does she receive?

Any doctor that wants to perscribe medication that gives her blisters needs to go back to school (my opinion!)

My son was diagnosed at the age of 12 going to be 13 next month. Honor roll student 6th grade he was tested in an 8th grade level 2nd 9weeks...Reading at a 9th grade level 3rd nine weeks. This is why I asked about her testing..she may be advanced she see's no reason or care to do the work. We started our son on Adderall, but there are way too many heart issues in our family background and it showed up in him with having chest pains and heart palpations.

As children grow so does the level of medication for most, some do grow out of it. We switched to the Focolin 20mg XR ...we do not give him any adhd meds during the summer so he can catch up on weight and height. During his 6th grade we did put him on the same Focolin 20mg XR plus a 5mg short acting after his lunch period. (sometimes he pieced on something exspecially his fav...PIZZA). Then he would go to the office take his pill, have recess, go back to class and the short acting would kick in to finish the school hours.

I agree with most of the mothers posting on here, you really need to check with a different pediatrician. Here in Oklahoma it is against the law for a teacher to say they feel your child has adhd, so they drop the keywords....not paying attention, not following through, etc etc...then you can ask the teacher "do you all do ADD/ADHD evaluations" Here they do! The teacher did one on what she saw in our son's behavior, and sent us the same paperwork to fill out, send it in and the results came back...(My son's pediatricians words "Wow, most parents and teachers don't match this close, he has it bad!")

If your daughter has IEP classes make sure you add to the comments all your concerns for her education ...if she needs copies of notes she isn't able to keep up with...if she needs time in a quiet room to do her work if the noise distracts her....if she needs extra water fountain breaks or a special request for her to carry water.

I don't understand why she isn't wanting to eat if her meds aren't lasting the day... Also...we make sure our son eats before taking any medication in the morning. We get him up, fix just about anything he would request, toast, cereal, pancakes, granola bars etc... Then give him his pill, we have our routine, brushing hair, teeth, getting everything ready and out the door we go...never having him take the pill more than 45 mins before class starts.

Sorry but the one thing that gets me is...if her meds aren't lasting then why won't she eat.

I think not only does she need to be seen by a different doctor but maybe you need to let them know your concern for deydration and eating habits...there might be something else going on there.

Here are some helpful links to compare different ADD/ADHD meds and their side effects. When you go into your daughters pediatrician old one or new one, you will be impowered with the knowledge to know what information is important to bring up and questions to ask. Doctors aren't GOD...sometimes they need help remembering things also!

A great website to compare the different ADHD meds

Warnings of some of the medications

Effect on the developing brain — The long-term impact of ADD/ADHD medication on the youthful, developing brain is not yet known. Some researchers are concerned that the use of drugs such as Ritalin in children and teens might interfere with normal brain development.

Heart-related problems — ADD/ADHD stimulant medications have been found to cause sudden death in children and adults with heart conditions. The American Heart Association recommends that all individuals, including children, have a cardiac evaluation prior to starting a stimulant. An electrocardiogram is recommended if the person has a history of heart problems.

Psychiatric problems — Stimulants for ADD/ADHD can trigger or exacerbate symptoms of hostility, aggression, anxiety, depression, and paranoia. People with a personal or family history of suicide, depression, or bipolar disorder are at a particularly high risk, and should be carefully monitored when taking stimulants.

Wishing you and yours the best!

User - posted on 09/26/2011




My son has ADHD. He started out on Ritalin in Kindergarten. Two doses a day because the medication didn't last very long. That was a nightmare. He had highs and lows and it was just crazy. We tried Concerta and Strattera with no luck. We then tried AdderallXR, which was much better, but he couldn't swallow the capsule so we were allowed to open the capsule and pour the contents on a spoonful of pudding or applesauce. That worked for a while. The taste was horrible and it was a fight every morning to get him to he couldn't function in school without it. But he took it like that all through elementary school. We didn't get the extended release effects that you would get by swallowing the capsule but he got what he needed to get through school. The biggest problem with AdderallXR is that it really upset his stomach, which is a side effect anyway, but taking like he had to take it was so much worse. His stomach hurt all the time and he was sooooo skinny and much smaller than other boys his age. Finally, we heard about Daytrana. This patch has been a life saver for my son. He has been using the patch for 2 1/2 years and I have seen some incredible improvements. His stomach doesn't hurt like before, he is able to eat (mostly in the evening when the medication is wearing off - he still is not hungry at lunch time) and he is growing and almost caught up with his peers. He doesn't have the mood swings like he had with the other medications either. I really think Daytrana has helped my son to be able to live the life that children without ADHD have. And in my own opinion, I think it saved his life. My son is now 14 and is doing excellent! He makes excellent grades in school, he is much more social than he ever was before and he is extremely active in sports and is finally happy.

If you feel that your son needs a medication change and your doctor won't work with you, then change doctors. You are the advocate for your child and nobody knows your child like you do. And believe me when I say I know it's hard to change doctors after you've been through so much with your current doctor but some doctors know better than others.

Good Luck to You and Yours,


Becky - posted on 09/15/2011




If no ADHD meds are working you might have her checked for bi-polar. The symptoms of bi-polar overlap ADHD symptom and one can often be misdiagnosed for the other.

Monica - posted on 09/14/2011




Try the Daytrana Patch. It's new so you may need preauthorization from you insurance to pay for it. (mine authorized it in just a few days) The patch is AWESOME! It's a little tricky to get on them at first (super sticky!) But it lasts as long as the patch is on them (about 9 hours) My son is in his second month on this and is doing much better!

Michelle - posted on 09/14/2011




Hi Lauren,

Your daughter sounds A LOT like my son. We tried medication after medication. I ended up taking him off meds because it was such a fight to get him to take it. By chance that he WOULD take it, he acted zombiefied (hated that). So about 5 months ago, he started seeing a therapist that specializes in behavior health. He also see a DR., well NP, which I wasn't too happy about, but now I'm glad that we did. After discussing how my was, she suggested a liquid medication (I looked up & down for one; couldn't find one). It's called Methylin. I like it!! He takes 25 mg/day. But since it's a liquid, it doesn't last very long, so it's spread throughout the day. There's no fighting to take it, no zombie affects, & he's calm enough in school to make it all day w/o any problems. He still has his unfocused moments, but what person doesn't. His grades are up, he's even getting good marks for his behavior.

I hope that this helps for you. Oh, if you ask about it, your pharmacy may have to order it (mine did) because it's not used very often.

Good luck to you!


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