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Old 04-13-2011, 08:58 AM   #1
coinkc
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ADD medications

My teenager was just diagnosed with attention deficit disorder inattentive type this morning. We have an appointment with her doctor next week to discuss medications.

The two that she mentioned on the phone were Focalin and Vyvanse. Does anybody have any experience with children on either of these? I'm interested in hearing good and bad stories about effectiveness, side effects, etc. I did google them but there is so much info out there and I'd love to hear some personal stories.

thank you.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:56 AM   #2
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Sunday while I was at the grocery store an older lady started commenting on how lovely my DD is and asked her age. Then she told me she was tall for her age and told me her grandson was 6'5". I told her "well I hope he is playing basketball"
Thats when she told me that he had recently passed away because the ADD meds he was on since he was young gave him (liver or Kidney failure...cant recall exactly). He was only 19yrs old.

I am not trying to scare you or say this will happen to ur precious DD, however it is worth getting more information on IMO
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:08 PM   #3
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I don't know anything about Vyvanse, but Focalin is considered to have fewer side effects than other stimulant ADHD meds. That's the reason our p-doc wanted to try it. I saw immediate improvement in DD's ability to focus. Unfortunately for us, DD has bipolar disorder and the Focalin made her mood unstable. We had to discontinue it after just a few days.

Focalin enters and leaves the system quickly so it doesn't take long to determine if it will benefit your DD. A non-stimulant ADHD med (like Strattera) needs to build up in the system for a longer period of time before determining its effectiveness. Many p-docs prefer to try stimulants first and will only move onto the non-stimulant meds if the stimulants don't work or produce too many side effects.

You may want to have your DD take an Omega 3 supplement. Omega 3s have shown to have positive impact on ADD and ADHD symptoms.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:58 PM   #4
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DS15 has taken Focalin for a couple years. He's done amazingly well on it. Went from bad grades (mostly C's and D's) to honor roll every term. The only side affects we've noticed are: 1) appetite was a bit off at first 2) he can be extra hyper in the evenings
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:33 PM   #5
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My son is on the Vyvanse. He is now 23 years old, he just started on it about 5 months ago. He was diagnosed ADD (not ADHD) at ages 8 or 9, and again at age 14. At 8, it seemed manageable without meds, no behavioral issues. At 14, he seemed to need medication though, and drs recommended it, but he did not want to take it.

Finally last year, it became too much to try and handle on his own, and he started treatment at age 22. It has helped him so much at work (he did not want to attend college, he works construction).

So far, not many side effects. He lost a little weight, and he was thin to begin with, but that seems stable now. The medication is a controlled substance and difficult to obtain. I need to pick up the script every 30 days, sort of annoying. they cannot call it in, mail it to us, etc. He works so many hours, I have to do it for him. He sees a specialist so they are not open many hours. (Neurologist/psychiatrist).
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:06 AM   #6
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ADHD medicines can be a valuble bridge for add while you get the supports he needs in school in place, but should never be viewed as a solution since they have serios risks, are often abondoned or become ineffective and mask the underlying eductioponal needs and therefore a the schools fail to provide the curriculum that is needed for your child to be successful without medicaition.

Medical ethics require that clinicains use explore practical less risky options before prescibing these medications (althohg most do not) so a 504 and curriculum and accomidations for the Executuve function differentials should be your first step.

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Old 04-14-2011, 08:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookwormde View Post
ADHD medicines can be a valuble bridge for add while you get the supports he needs in school in place, but should never be viewed as a solution since they have serios risks, are often abondoned or become ineffective and mask the underlying eductioponal needs and therefore a the schools fail to provide the curriculum that is needed for your child to be successful without medicaition.

Medical ethics require that clinicains use explore practical less risky options before prescibing these medications (althohg most do not) so a 504 and curriculum and accomidations for the Executuve function differentials should be your first step.

bookwormde
I think these are all very valuable points and I do think that there are a plenty of children who are unneccessarily medicated. I will say that in the case of DS15, he had an IEP starting at age 3, received speech services and academic support, has a diagnosis of Auditory Processing Disorder. He also has an excellent diet (has always been willing to eat veggies, etc...). Anyway, he was able to make it through elem. school with the supports in place although it was a big challenge for him. DS12 was actually a reader before he was. But, things began to fall apart in Middle School. He was flunking some classes, became a target for bullying etc... His mother (he is my step-son) decided to pursue more medical help and he started meds. It has made a world of difference for him. He makes honor roll, has friends, is on the varsity hockey team etc...
I guess this is my long winded way of saying that I agree with you. But, just wanted to share our experience for the OP.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences. Although she is newly diagnosed, I have known for a few years that my daughter has add. (I'm a teacher and have worked with many students over the years with it.)

We have tried many other options but as a freshman in high school, those options are just not as effective so we are going to try the medication and see if we can help her. It is heart warming to hear the stories of older kids who were able to be successful.
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