Non stimulant ADHD meds

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by westjones, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    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!
     
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  3. JoiseyMom

    JoiseyMom <font color=orange>Have you had your SPANX today??

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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!
     
  4. worm761

    worm761 <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/sw.

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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.
     
  5. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    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).
     
  6. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    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.
     
  7. Anjelica

    Anjelica Self-Declared Queen of WebSphere

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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.
     
  8. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    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.
     
  9. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    Now since 7th grade she has been taking a natural treatment for her ADD call L-Tyrosine daily:

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/424985-l-tyrosine-for-adhd/

    And before that, I don't think she would have pass high school. But I don't think it is really giving her enough help to get through college level classes.

    So she has been treated for years for this, but with a natural treatment that isn't that strong, and I think she needs something more now.
     
  10. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    My DD (now 19) was taking Strattera from the age of about 13. She was on Ritalin but I hated the highs (and lows) she got with it. After taking it in the morning, she would be like a zombie, then when it wore off she was like Speedy Gonzales on speed! With the Strattera, other than a slight lack of appetite in the first couple of weeks and a spike in hormones (tears and feeling a bit down in the dumps), again in the first fortnight, it worked really well for her. It has a build-up effect, so needs a couple of weeks to build up in the bloodstream before you really notice the effects but she was like a different girl on it.

    I am pleased to report that she is medication-free now (and has been since finishing school) and is doing really well. She is considering starting to take it again as she is having difficulty passing her driving test and thinks it may be down to the ADHD and lack of concentration but I would prefer for her to do without (after all, she is going to have to drive without once she passes her test). I agree with other posters who say that different things work for different children, though, and it is sometimes a case of trial and error. DD tried a couple of other meds which didn't work for her before we discovered Strattera.
     
  11. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    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.
     
  12. JoiseyMom

    JoiseyMom <font color=orange>Have you had your SPANX today??

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    No side effects, they just didn't do anything for them. No help with the ADD/ADHD.
     
  13. coinkc

    coinkc <font color=red>You can find some hot dates at Six

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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.
     
  14. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    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.
     
  15. rwdavis2

    rwdavis2 DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  16. shoney

    shoney DIS Veteran

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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!
     
  17. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    My DD has had battles with depression and the stimulant type of drugs probably wouldn't be good for her to use. Any improvement would be helpful.

    Yesterday she was telling me she just thinks maybe she wasn't ready for college. But I don't want her to give up until we have tried everything we can to help her.

    If she were out partying with friends, staying out late, skipping classes, and stuff like that, I would also say it was time to just quit. But she is going to classes, going to bed by 11:00 every night, not going out with friends and drinking (on weekends she may go out to eat with her boyfriend but they usually end up here watching TV and they both come with us to church on Sunday mornings). So it isn't a 'behavior' thing. There is something else keeping her from being able to handle her college classes and I don't want to give up on her yet.

    BUT I don't want her going into a depression, or becoming addicted to something. It is just so very very frustrating!

    We have never tried the non-stimulant type of drug. If her doctor approves on Saturday, and if she wants to give it a try, it may be worth a shot.

    Otherwise, she is not going to make it through college.
     
  18. TexasErin

    TexasErin Loves old Pluto cartoons

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    I just wanted to say good luck and to keep us posted. DD16 has ADD and is on Concerta- we still have problems with her not turning in assignments and not being able to explain what happened.:sad2:

    And DS10 has ADHD and is on Vyvanse. His grades are pretty good. He is a handful without any meds, but this summer at Vacation Bible School, they told us not to give him any meds before coming after the first day because they said he didn't eat and was kind of withdrawn. I wish there were a better solution for both my kids.

    Let us know what the doctor says and what y'all decide.....
     
  19. Duchie

    Duchie "Answers are the easy part, questions raise the do

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    It's tough, not only deciding what kind (stimulant vs non-stimulant) but then trying to figure out which one of those works. Someone else said it best -trial and error. My oldest DS is 16 and just decided this year that he does not want to take them any more. And man, it's killing him in school. Some of his teachers have talked to me about it and they've all said the same thing - it's not the material, because they can tell he knows it. It's the organization, keeping track of his papers, turning them in. I've talked to him about maybe starting a low-dose again but he's firm in refusing to do it.

    Another issue we have is our pediatrician has told him that he will not prescribe meds past the age of 18. I think this is a huge factor in my son stopping, because the dr put a little pressure on him. The thing is, I don't think this is going to magically go away the day he turns 18, so we need to start thinking about that now.

    Anyway, I was talking about this with my neighbor a few weeks ago. She works in a natural health store and said ther are some options there that might work for hiim. Plus she works with some essential oiils that may also be helpful. I think we're going to look into it more during the school break to see what it's about.

    Oh and for the record my younger DS does still take meds. He has been tricky to find one that workd and we've tried a bunch, including the non-stimulants which just did nothing for him. He was on Focalin for a long time and it worked great with no side effects. However it didn't last long enough, so we're trying something new..... again. See what I mean about trial and error?
     
  20. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    Isn't it sad. There is just no easy solution. From what I know of my DD's Boyfriend's situation, he did not take ADHD meds in grade school or middle school. He did ok grade wise, but was quite hyper at times. He and his mom decided to try the concerta in high school and I guess his grades went up a lot and he was able to do well. But he doesn't always take it consistently. In fact, in August when he started college for the first time, he did start taking it every day and after a month of taking it ever day he went through a very odd personality change (what I would describe as a manic state). I think he cut back to where he only takes it during the week and not on weekends (what he was doing in high school). And he seems to be back to his old self now.

    But THAT also makes me nervous, seeing what he went through...BUT he is taking a 'stimulant' drug (concerta)...so I am hoping for less mood issues from the non-stimulant type. But who knows.

    Honestly, I think that college has become way to stressful for even 'regular' kids. Large classrooms (one of my DD's classes has 500 in it), everything online so no one really explaining. instructors don't have enough time to spend with students. It is SO much different than when I went to college. I now see why the small private college are so appealing if you can afford them. Wish we could.

    Oh well.....we will see what her doctor says on Saturday.
    Thanks!
     
  21. handicap18

    handicap18 <font color=blue>Husband, father of 3, and Disney

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    For the most part it's trial and error. My wife went through almost a dozen before finding one that worked for her.

    Also keep in mind that for many with ADD/ADHD stimulants actually work the opposite way. For my wife and son, when they have something with caffeine they actually slow down and relax. My wife uses at least 1 5 hour energy drink per day and it helps calm her down and focus. My 10 year old son takes a stimulant and helps him focus.

    Weird but true.
     

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