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Old 12-13-2012, 11:21 AM   #1
westjones
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Non stimulant ADHD meds

In grade school my DD was diagnosed with ADD (she doesn't have the hyper activity but she can not focus). She also has another learning disability (auditory processing disorder).

So years ago (in grade school) we had her try concerta (an ADHD med) but we discontinued it. I didn't like the idea of her being on those meds and she seemed to have side effects from them (but at the moment I can't remember what they were).

Anyway, she is in her first semester of college. It has NOT gone well. And it is not because she is out late and partying. She lives at home and commutes so she is in bed every night before I got to bed. Her dad had been tutoring her in math, but she is most likely not going to pass the class (went into the final failing and need a good grade to pull it up but said she could tell she didn't do well on the final).

So she will have to retake her class. I am also thinking she may not be doing well in her other classes (not sure yet, but looks like C's). She is part of the students with disabilities, but college is not like high school. They don't offer as much help and so it is not working well.

We are letting her go slow, take a small class load (only 12 hours) and she is going to go in the summer to help make up for that (looking at trying the community college during that time). BUT she has to pass this math class and I found out yesterday after talking to the university and the community college that this particular math class is only offered at the university, so taking math at the community college won't work...but she can take English and Science at the community college.

So as much as I would prefer not to go back to meds, I am starting to think maybe we should consider ADD meds again. When she tried before they did not have the 'non-stimulant' ones that are now out.

So my question........is anyone familiar with these, does anyone know of someone using them with positive results (not the stimulant ones, but the non-stimulant ones like Starttera?

I am still not sure about this. I really don't want to go through route, but I also want her to be able to finish college.

So any experience, or know of someone with experience with these would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Last edited by westjones; 12-13-2012 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
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Both my kids were on Strattera, but it didn't work for them. It is really trial and error, and your best bet is talking to a neurologist or a psychiatrist. We just switched DS to a psychiatrist (we started years ago with neuro) from the pediatrician. The ped just wanted to raise the dosage vs looking at other options once the meds stopped working. Really not happy about that.

Good luck!
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:38 AM   #3
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The non stimulants didn't work for my son either. He is now on the Daytrana patch and does fantastic on it. Have you talked to your DD to find out what she wants? ADHD meds are, for the most part, hit and miss. Just because you react to one doesn't mean you will react to another.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
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The non stimulants didn't work for my son either. He is now on the Daytrana patch and does fantastic on it. Have you talked to your DD to find out what she wants? ADHD meds are, for the most part, hit and miss. Just because you react to one doesn't mean you will react to another.
I haven't talked to her yet, we take her to a specialist about 4 hours away once a year who has been treating her for another condition and we have an appointment this Saturday and I wanted to mention it to him to see what he thought and how it might effect her other condition.

I am afraid once I mention it to her she will beg me to get it for her. Her boyfriend takes concerta (he has ADHD....he has the hyper activity and when he doesn't take his meds I can tell because he can't stay still). But he does SO much better in school and it is because of his meds. When he doesn't take them he does poorly.

So I don't want to mention it until we see her doctor on Saturday, but I haven't quite decided to mention it at all yet. I just hate to go this route.....but I also want to help her in whatever way I can.

I am just nervous about what kinds of reactions she will have.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:11 PM   #5
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What form of ADD was she diagnosed with? Just by your description and quick glance of your post (sorry if I missed it) it sounds like she may have Inattentive ADD.

As others have said - it really will be a trial and error but she should know very quickly whether its helping her or not.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anjelica View Post
What form of ADD was she diagnosed with? Just by your description and quick glance of your post (sorry if I missed it) it sounds like she may have Inattentive ADD.

As others have said - it really will be a trial and error but she should know very quickly whether its helping her or not.
She can't hold her focus. I don't know of a name for what it is other than they said she had ADD and not ADHD (she doesn't have hyperactivity like her boyfriend).

So the meds work rather quickly? It doesn't have to build up over time?

I mean...I suppose it may be worth giving it a try. I just don't like the idea, and you hear so much negative about it, but I want to give her the best chance she can have.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worm761 View Post
The non stimulants didn't work for my son either. He is now on the Daytrana patch and does fantastic on it. Have you talked to your DD to find out what she wants? ADHD meds are, for the most part, hit and miss. Just because you react to one doesn't mean you will react to another.
The patch worked wonders for our daughter. She was a C student early in high school, got the patch and was an A-B student for rest of high school and through 3.5 years of college.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoiseyMom View Post
Both my kids were on Strattera, but it didn't work for them. It is really trial and error, and your best bet is talking to a neurologist or a psychiatrist. We just switched DS to a psychiatrist (we started years ago with neuro) from the pediatrician. The ped just wanted to raise the dosage vs looking at other options once the meds stopped working. Really not happy about that.

Good luck!
Thanks! Did they have bad side effects or did it just not work/help?

I don't mind trying, but I am always worried about side effects (which I know can be different for different people, but I don't know anyone who has tried the non-stimulant type).
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westjones View Post
Thanks! Did they have bad side effects or did it just not work/help?

I don't mind trying, but I am always worried about side effects (which I know can be different for different people, but I don't know anyone who has tried the non-stimulant type).
No side effects, they just didn't do anything for them. No help with the ADD/ADHD.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:29 PM   #10
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My 16 year old has been taking Focalin Extended Release for just over a year now. It has been a godsend for her! She too has the Inattentive ADD and really struggled in school despite being very bright and capable. She just couldn't stay focused in class especially since they use a block schedule so each class period is 80 minutes long. She would be okay for the first 20 min or so and then zone out. She also had trouble turning assignments in on time and staying organized.

The only side effect she has had is that she's not hungry at lunch time and has to force herself to eat something. It wouldn't be that big of a deal except that she's not much of a breakfast eater either so would go the whole day without food.

She doesn't take the medicine on the weekends or summer and so far hasn't had any issues.

I wasn't thrilled with the idea of putting her on a daily medication but am so glad we did. It really has made a big difference for her.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westjones View Post
My DD is moody, and that part makes me nervous. I don't want her getting depressed.

Is your DD19 in college right now? College is so hard for kids without problems, it just seem so much harder for those with conditions like ADHD/ADD.
It is University here but, no, she decided she'd had enough of education and we had always discussed her coming off her meds when she finished school.

My DD was moody/hormonal also but she honestly just had some minor tearful episodes and a loss of appetite which only lasted a short while. I also liked that she was able to take a break from the meds in the summer - we just had to make sure she started taking them again early enough before she went back to school.

Don't forget that most teenage girls have a tendency to hormones/moodiness anyway, you probably won't notice a difference And she could always stop taking them if the symptoms were too bad.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:43 PM   #12
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My son was on Focalin xr (stimulant) for about 2 years. It worked well at first, but towards the end he got very depressed and moody. He never ate and was very thin. That didn't bother the doctors, though, because he was growing.

We took him off that and put him on the non stimulant, Intuniv. He started on it last summer. The doctor said we may have to add a very low dose stimulant to it for school. That has not been the case. This has been working very well for him. He doesn't have any depression symtoms and actually eat food!
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:39 PM   #13
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I am on what is supposed to be a non-stimulant ADD med. It's really a narcolepsy medicine (Provigil). My oldest son, who graduated college in May, has been on ADD meds off and on for years. He has Tourette's Syndrome, so had issues with taking stimulant meds.

The decision to medicate either the TS and/or the ADD was, for the most part, left up to him. Only he knew if he needed the help and he knew how the meds made him feel.

The more I look into it, the more I think I might have Executive Functioning Disorder. http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/executive-function Not that I want another label. Meds help a little, but more as an anti-anxiety med rather than with my ADD. I literally cannot keep myself focused and organized and have always been this way. I wouldn't be surprised if my son also has it. No magic pill for that, though.

It seems that if your daughter is in college she should be in charge of her health care and any decisions that are made regarding meds, etc. I've always told my kids that I can't care about something more than they care. That went for grades, health, and anything else.

My son did ok in college once he figured out some coping skills. We tried to incorporate all kinds of hints and suggestions to make life easier when he was younger, but he wanted nothing to do with it. I weaned him from most of the hands-on monitoring from me by the time he was a HS senior, so it wasn't a total sink or swim situation when he went to college. But he did have some adjusting to do.

I hope your daughter starts to watch her diet a bit more. It won't hurt and it would probably help.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:56 PM   #14
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My son is in 7th grade and was diagnosed with ADD while in 2nd. At first, Daytrana worked pretty well for him. But as he entered puberty, we hit a wall. We had been with a neurologist for 4 years and she wasn't addressing his anxiety issues and was only upping the meds. We started with a psychiatrist a little over a year ago and tried stimulants. The side effects were horrible-zombie like behavior, no appetite, depression. So, he is now on Welbutrin. It seems to be working well. His dimeanor is better and he is doing well while in class. His grades are C's, but he is still having issues with organization and handing in assignments. I must say, I prefer this med to any of the stimulants by far. I hope you find the right solution for your daughter!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:07 PM   #15
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Well DH and I just went to dinner because I wanted to talk this over with him (since we will be seeing her specialist on Saturday). DH does not want us to try and start her on anything new because of the bad reactions she has had to other things in the past.

I did try giving her some caffeine pills this semester because I read that they are similar to ritalin. She thought it was good at first then said she wanted to stop because of how it made her feel. And I guess right now she is feeling OK, but just can't focus enough to do well in her classes.

But a pill can't fix everything, and she is already taking other things for other problems (which is why we drive 4 hours to a specialist).

Thank you all for your insights. I guess we will just continue with the natural treatments and 'hope' she figures out what is best for her.
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