September 30, 2010,
D.P. asks from San Antonio, TX on March 11, 2008
Needing Pros & Cons on "Adderall"
We have been having long term "focus" issues with my now 11 year old son and have exhausted all other avenues to try and help him. Last year he was tested for ADHD and it came back negative, however, this school year the daydreaming and lack of focus during school has increased. We have adjusted his diet from less processed sugars and have focused on higher protein and although it has generally improved his health it really hasn't done much for the attention issues. Up until now, we have been opposed to medications for all the reasons many parents have. A trusted colleague has gone through the same issues with his son and they finally decided to try Adderall. He tells me it has changed his son's life for the positive. He is able to do his homework, his grade's have vastly improved and most importantly his son is happier. I have done internet research, but I want to hear the good, bad & ugly from a parents perspective. Thanks for your input!
A.G. answers from Killeen on March 14, 2008
E-mail my sister in law, Susan, she will give you an insiders experience with a son in a similar situation. ____@____.com
K.C. answers from Houston on March 12, 2008
My son was on Adderall since kindergarten, the only side affect I saw in him was increase in appitite. This year we are trying Vyvance, it is supposed to help them through the day and into the night so they can do thier homework as easily. So far every things seems to be a whole lot better. There is a web sight on vyvance adhd.emedtv.com/vyvanse/vyvance.html this will help answer some questions. My son is fixin to be 12 next month and an A/B student and his conduct is so much better. Simply both are good medicines because they are time release, which means it won't affect the kidney like the other drugs do.
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L.M. answers from Houston on March 12, 2008
I, too, have not been ready to put my son on "chemical" drugs for ADHD. Instead we have him on Attend by VAXA. It is a homeopathic alternative. It has been wonderful. Not an overnight fix. It takes a few weeks to get into their system. He is now able to sit in class and do his work. We are still working on impulsiveness, but otherwise he is doing so much better.
M.W. answers from San Antonio on March 12, 2008
I have 2 boys, both on medication. My 8 year old has been diagnosed with ADHD and is on Focalin and my 14 yr old has been diagnosed with ADD and is taking Adderall. I can tell you the medications have been a God send. We too really did not want to go the medication route but I was completely out of options. I had tried everything. The best indication that they work though is that both boys willing take their meds everyday because they can see (feel) the difference it makes for them while at school and while doing homework. In fact my youngest wasn't reading until he started the medication and he now calls it his "sit down medicine". It helps him to be able to sit down in his chair at school. After the older started his meds, he says that it makes all the difference in the classroom. He can concentrate on what is being taught instead of daydreaming. His grades and self confidence are better than ever.
A.C. answers from Houston on March 12, 2008
We have 2 ADD/Dyslexic children (10 &7). We too were very skeptical about putting our daughter on meds. We went through the psychologist thing with the “testing” and counseling. My children are taking adderalll XR, there are both pros and cons (as for anything). The week we put our daughter on the meds she came home and said she like the medication because she could listen to the teacher and remember what she was supposed to do (she was in 2nd grade). Our daughter does show side effects, eating is the big one. Her appetite is really suppressed, but the doctors really watch her and notate her weight every month. After a long period of being on the meds she does have some problems falling asleep (but in all fairness she had the problems before, it is an ADD symptom). What I LOVE about this medication is we do not give it to them on the weekends unless it is imperative they really concentrate; also we do not give it in the summer unless they really need it. This medicine starts working 30 min after you give it to them, so it does not have to be disbursed everyday to stay in their system. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me. I too have to live with ADD and I know how hard it is for these kiddos. There is just one question you need to ask yourself….if you had an illness or imbalance that medication would help you feel better wouldn’t you take it? ADD is an imbalance and the medication helps straighten it out. GOOD LUCK!
A.G. answers from Houston on March 12, 2008
You think he just might be bored and uninterested in what he is learning. Do you do his homework with him? Have you asked him about it? Maybe get some therapy first.
A.D. answers from Houston on March 12, 2008
My daughter is 8 will be 9 shortly. I had some of the same problems with her, had teacher after teacher telling me to put her on meds. My daughter saw three different Dr. plus her pedi and all said the same thing she just needed redirection. It was bad for a while,nearly two years, I got phone calls form the school everyday, I thought they had me on speed dail. Even had to go to the school to pull her out form under the princpals desk. She was making staight F's in all her classes. So at my wit's end over the Christmas holidays I put her on this vitiam called "Focus Fator", that seem to help, and I put her in Karate classes, within a month the teacher where asking me what I did to her and I told them. The Focus Fator help her focus on what she was doing and the Karate classes gave her some much needed redirection and an outlet to release some of her built of energy. She is now a staight A student with out having to put on meds. Hope this helps.
Focus Fator you can find at your local GNC or Walgreens. Believe me it helped my phone no longer rings form the school unless one of my children are in the nurses office.
Sorry, I don't believe in medicating children. I always try like you diets and vitiams first. So far, my children are med free.
J.G. answers from San Antonio on March 13, 2008
I am not sure if this will help you any or not since my son is only going to be 4. He was on the adderall xr, and the "regular" adderall for almost 2 years. First ALL of the ADHD meds can cause a loss of appitite, which would result in a decrease of weight. Anyway, the good thing about adderall is that it is not one you HAVE to take everyday, like if you just wanted to give him something during the week while he was in school, but not on weekends or holiday breaks then this is one of them that you can do that, it only stays in your system for that one day. The Adderall XR is a extended relief pill that "is supposed" to last 8 hours, the "regular" Adderall is a fast relief pill. It worked great for my son he was so much calmer and acctually able to sit down and color, or read a book, or even just play with his toys, my son did loose a pound or two in the beginning until he got used to it, then he gained it back, he didnt loose any weight the rest of the time, but he didnt gain any either. My son was changed to metidate, which didnt work, he is now taking Vyvanse, this is a new one from what i understand and is supposed to be just like the Adderall XR, just little different on what they put inside, but this one "is supposed" to last 12 hours instead of the 8 with Adderall. I hope this helps you any, it does take a while sometimes to find the right pill or comb. for them. Good Luck.
G.I. answers from Austin on March 12, 2008
I don't know anything about Adderall, but I am opposed to medicating children to change their personality. I am afraid that there comes a time when you must stop taking it and they will go through the same issues, so I believe it only postpones the problem until the parents and teachers no longer have to deal with it. One question I would have for you is, how much tv, video games, and/or computer time is your son engaging in each day? It helps my children tremendously when they do not use tv, video games or computer time for more than 30 minutes a day combined. These forms of technology train the brain to be constantly interrupted and force a short attention span. It also helps them to be creative in finding something else to do.
L.C. answers from Houston on March 12, 2008
Sounds like you had him tested for adhd but did they test for other things as well? Seizure disorders etc... If you haven't already seen a psychiatrist I would recommend that first and perhaps he would recommend adderall. My very bright daughter takes adderall and would not do well in school without it. Food for thought........
S.W. answers from Houston on March 14, 2008