73 answers

Adhd - Siler, KY

Hello everyone, I requested suggestions awhile back about ADHD medicines. My son has now decided that he does not want to take medicine anymore for his ADHD. He says he is happier without it. When I talked to his doctors about this they said we are the adults and he is a child. We have to make the right decisions for him and they are the professionals. All medicines have side affects and you have to way the needs to the side affects and if it is more benificial and is needed you have to take a risk. The doctor said I can give you a 5 page list of side affects for Tylenol from my medical journal, but we still take it because the chances are so slim. The same as surgery everyone is told they may die while under anesthedic but, we still do it because it is neccisary. I agree to an extent. He is 12 years old and he is old enough to say how meds make him feel. Should I go ahead with a second opinion and a fresh look at my son's condition? I took him off of the medicines for 1 week and we had parent teacher conferences the following Monday. THe first thing the teachers said was, he has been having trouble focusing, staying on task, and completing his work. I was already causeing problems for him and the teachers did not know I had taken him off of the medicine so they were not looking for problems they saw them without heads up. This is such a hard call. Any moms with ADHD children or medical background that can help? M.

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Wow! I am amazed at all of the repsonses I have recived. I really appreciate it. I know for a fact my son does have ADHD. He was very sevier as a pre-schooler. I have seen children with ADHD that can manage without medicine. As for as how it makes him feel, he gets his feelings hurt easy and cries and he is irritable. No signs of depression that I know of. For now I have gotten him to agree to thrash this out after school goes out. I will email more later. M.

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my son takes ritalin 4 his adhd. i hope we can chat and become friends. my son is 7. the school he goes to has seen a big improvement since he has been on his meds. love A.

Hi M., I also am a mother of a almost 11 year old daughter with ADHD. I have tried everything for her in the past(counseling, NO Sugar or dyes, Herbal remedies) and nothing has seemed to work. She also used to beg me not to take her meds. I now have her on Metadate CD. This med is like eyeglasses, she only has to take it when needed. I give it to her when she has school to help her focus, but other than that I rarely give it to her. At the beginning of every school year I send her to school for about the 1st 2 weeks to see how she does. Then go in and just talk to the teacher. So far she has still needed it for school and they can tell if I happen to forget a day. My daughter understands now that she needs it to keep on task at school only. Plus it makes her feel like she has some say in the situation by not having to take a pill everyday. I've also noticed that her appetite is much better now. When she used to be on the other meds. she hardly ate and her belly was messed up all the time. It used to break my heart. She is doing much better now. Everyday is a struggle with her but we are making it one day at a time. I wish you luck!! and hope this helps just a little. CHRIS

My brother has a severe form of ADHD called aspergers syndrome. He was put on every medication under the sun it seemed, and he was constantly druged up, (and hated it) untill he was taken to see an allergy speciallist. He has had a lot of sucess with changing his diet, there is a lot of information out there about the causes of certain food dyes and preservatives as well as wheat and processed sugar like high fructose corn syrup. Do some research and talk to an allergist. Good luck.

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get a second or even a third opinion. ADHD is too quickly diagnosed instead of looking for what may be causing the problem. My friend was going to take her son to a sleep study but before they did the study the doctor wanted to do some blood work. Turns out for years the child, now a teen, had low iron and this kept him from getting a good nights sleep which caused sleep deprivation, causing truoble in school, etc. I beg you, go get a couple more opinions. A. W

Hi M.,
I have a husband who has ADD (and they are in the process of evaluating my younger son for ADD). My husband has gone back on his medicine for ADD. I know several people grow out of it but he never did. I am very anti-meds myself, but you know, sometimes it is just necessary. However, the reason I wanted to respond to you was because my husband went off of his meds for the same reason, it made his personality different when he was on them and he didn't like how it made him feel. As the doctor said YOU are his mother and that means you have to do what is best for your child. That means listening to how he is feeling and involving him in solving the problems he is having. Sorry doc that came back and bit you. I fully agree that he may need meds, but let him be involved in figuring out which one he needs or how much he needs. He is the ONLY one that can tell you how the meds are working for him, so it just doesn't make sense to not listen to what he is telling you. Let him know that you understand how he is feeling and that he doesn't like the meds, but that without them he was in trouble at school and that isn't any fun either. Make a suggestion that he try different meds. I understand being wary of the side effects, but if you are involving your son it shouldn't be a big deal because he will tell you what is going on with the meds if he is experiencing side effects. I look at it this way. He is a child right now, but your job as his mom is to help him learn to be an adult. If you exclude him from this decision how is that helping him learn how to take care of himself as an adult when you are not there to do it for him anymore? There are tons of different meds, there are all natural ways... there is no meds and trying to do it yourself. Only you and your son can decide what is best for him. The doctor is a tool to help you, but he is not the decision maker for your family. Talk to a doctor who is willing to be your helper in this, and not try to just do what is easiest for him. I did have to put my older child on anxiety meds for about a year in first grade because he cried for weeks on end - almost nonstop - about having to go to school. He had loved kindergarten and I just didn't know what was going on. We took him to a doctor who put him on meds and we were so relieved that he wasn't so upset about school anymore, then we started noticing behavior problems he had never had before. When we told the doctor about it he told us it was "Superman Syndrome" that he was just exploring life without the restrictions of fear and that it would pass. Anyway to make a long story short, the behavior didn't pass after 2 months and the doctor continued to ignore us and refused to take him off the meds. We went and found a different doctor who changed his meds and he became my child again, the only difference was that the constant worry and crying was gone. My point is that doctor's don't always do what is best for you, find one who will. I wish you the best of luck.
C.

He says it makes him happier when he isn't on the medicine.. how did he feel while on it, sad, suicidle, sleepy? There are medications other than just one for adhd. Insist on trying others before giving up, if you want to keep trying. If you decide to let him choose, there have got to be other alternatives to use as discipline while at school. Teachers are overwhelmed as it is, so they have to have something to do when bad behavior occurs. If he's having trouble focusing, finishing tasks, and completing work, that sounds more like add than adhd. Just a little something you might want to check out. ADHD is a hyper form, which he would be disrupting class if he has it. I've seen medicines work, and I've seen them have side-effects that hinders work performance in the classroom because of sleepiness, etc. It's your call. You ARE the parent, so don't be bullied by your son, OR the doctors. I wish I could help more, but this is what I know and some things I've faced. Praying for your situation!

Hi M., I also am a mother of a almost 11 year old daughter with ADHD. I have tried everything for her in the past(counseling, NO Sugar or dyes, Herbal remedies) and nothing has seemed to work. She also used to beg me not to take her meds. I now have her on Metadate CD. This med is like eyeglasses, she only has to take it when needed. I give it to her when she has school to help her focus, but other than that I rarely give it to her. At the beginning of every school year I send her to school for about the 1st 2 weeks to see how she does. Then go in and just talk to the teacher. So far she has still needed it for school and they can tell if I happen to forget a day. My daughter understands now that she needs it to keep on task at school only. Plus it makes her feel like she has some say in the situation by not having to take a pill everyday. I've also noticed that her appetite is much better now. When she used to be on the other meds. she hardly ate and her belly was messed up all the time. It used to break my heart. She is doing much better now. Everyday is a struggle with her but we are making it one day at a time. I wish you luck!! and hope this helps just a little. CHRIS

My son is only 7 years old, but we have been through the list of ADHD medications. His ADHD is just a symptom of a rare disease that he has, and as part of his disease, he has a tendency to adapt to new meds quickly, and they become ineffective. That being said, I still would not go without the meds. We fought medicating for a long time, but I have seen the difference that it makes for him in school, and he is still a very happy child. I think it is really just finding the right medication.

I would suggest working closely with your doctors to find the meds that work best for him, in keeping him focused, but don't change his personality. With our son being able to adapt so quickly, and us not knowing which would work for him to begin with, his neurologist turned it over to his pediatrician (who is closer and can monitor him more), and many times he will give us a prescription for a new med for 10 days. If we do not like the way he is reacting to it (some have given him nightmares, and others have kept him up all night) we discontinue it immediately. Otherwise, we give it the 10 days to see how well it helps with focusing and control. If it works well, we keep him on that for awhile. If it does not, then we try something else.

I have talked to people (including a nurse) who told me they don't give their children the meds when they are at home, but to me that would just mess with his system.

Hey, I rrsponded to the wrong person. However it is vital you get this bit of info from me. Medication ruined our lifes. My son never had any health problems and after they put him on concerta,he now has had ticks for two years. It is a side affect they dont tell ou about. Your son knows his body and you should listen to him. As for his doc I would tell him to fly. Research all the medication. Dont just give him what the doc says. I am telliung you medication was the worst decision we ever made. There are natiural things out there to control ADHD. It isnt worth his health. God bless you and him. Please listen to your child!!

I am a 4th grade teacher with 2 grown children. My mother is a retired registered nurse. We both are very cautious to have any children take chemical medications. I do not take Tylenol and very few other chemicals, especially since there are natural alternatives to these products which will not harm my body. Tylenol and asprin are very hard on your liver and stomach, I want mine to be healthy for my whole life. ADD meds. do have lots of side effects. You can do an Internet search and find all kinds of problems that may be associated with them. There are even tests that link future drug or alcohol use and infertility to ADD meds. Our infertility rate in the USA is over 10%. I am sure you know many couples who are taking fertility drugs or are unable to have children, studies show that many of them also regularly took prescription drugs as children.
There are so many other ways to control ADD and other childhood problems. You can try dietary changes, learning focus & study skills. As a teacher, I know that people with lots of energy are the ones who get things done when they are adults. Most teachers are slightly ADD themselves. Your child may need to learn how to take notes or other listening skills to help them stay focused. He needs to learn how to function without drugs. You don't want him to start to think he needs drugs in order to function in society. You might also see if he needs tutoring outside of school. Often places like Sylvan Learning centers help students learn study skills that help them stay focused and help them feel more comfortable in class.
I also see that it is harder for some children on meds. to retain what they learn. They may act as though they are drugged up- easy to keep their behavior in line, but they have a hard time learning. I have seen a few children who are able to concentrate better when on meds. but they are the exception not the rule. I usually refer my parents to a local health food store and have them follow the advice of a good doctor who believes in modifying your diet and other habits before prescribing drugs as a last resort. We really are unsure of the long term affects of most drugs. People in our country have health problems that were rare or unheard of 40 years ago or are not problems in other countries who don't use so many drugs.
Keep searching, you will find some answers that are better for your son. He is correct, you don't feel right when you are medicated. He will be healthier and better able to retain info. if he makes some changes now. You cannot just stop the meds. without changing something else. We often find that children who drink mostly water and drop sodas and caffeine quickly see a difference in how they are able to focus. Our brains are mostly water and need a constant supply of fluids to function correctly. Increasing fruits and veggies while decreasing fast foods and heavily processed foods are another big help- especially look out for MSG, artificial sweetners, and artificial colors. Exercise and fresh air- all of those things they tell us are good for us will help.

Hi M., I have a 10 yr. old boy and he has been on adderall for ADD since Kinder. He too says he is much happier without the medicine. We tried to switch him to concerta over Christmas and he was happier and had an appetite!!! He ended up developing a cough that we think was a reaction to the concerta (side effect). HE is still coughing even after ENT Dr. put on on allergy and asthma meds. Not sure if it was the concerta or not. My Husband and I know Jordan focuses more on the med. and we want him to do well in school. We do have a friend who took their son off in H.S. and he did fine. ADHD is a little different because you have the hyperactivity to deal with. It is hard enough for kids to sit still hour after hour and is more difficult for your son. This is a hard call. You don't want him getting into trouble. I feel he may not be quite old enough yet to be able to control himself in class. Maybe wait until he matures a few more yrs. How long has your son been on ADHD meds.? I worry about growth. My son is so small (his father was the same at this age so I',m not to worried yet), but I don't want the meds. to affect his growth. Any feedback on this I would love to hear? Don't know if I have helped you much, but I am an asst. teacher 4th grade and I see boys getting in trouble everyday for not being able to be still and quite.
D. W.

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