ADHD Medicine for My 4 Year Old Son

Updated on April 28, 2012
J.C. asks from Plano, TX
11 answers

My 4 year old son has been diagnosed with ADHD and my husband and I have struggled for months with the decision of putting him on medication but we went to the neurologist yesterday and she recommended starting him on Procentra. Has anyone who have children with ADD/ADHD ever tried this medication and what were the results (good, bad, side effects)? I really appreciate any advice as this has been very emotional for us.

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answers from Dallas on

We prescribe Focalin to the kids that young if they absolutely have to have medication...we don't use that drug at all.

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answers from Chicago on

Hi J.,

My 12-year old daughter was dx with ADD two + years ago although I suspected many years before that she was struggling. We have gone back and forth with the idea of starting her on medication and have finally decided against it. If you aren't aware already, there are several great resources out there to help to begin implementing strategies for your child (and your family!) to help him with the symptoms of ADHD.

Here are a few:

10 Days to a Less Distracted Child by Jeffrey Bernstein, PhD
The Disorganized Mind, by Nancy Ratey
Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach, by Howard Glasser, MA and J. Easley, MA
Driven to Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.

It's extra work to be sure but my prayer is that we are providing my daughter with life-long skills and a deeper understanding of who she is and how she can thrive.

My wonderful niece also has ADD. She graduated with honors from NYU. She said that the only time she takes ADD meds is if she is under a deadline. Otherwise, she relies on learned self-discipline...skills honed over the last 8 years.

Best of luck to you and your little boy!


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answers from St. Louis on

He is too little.....He is just a 4 year-old boy.......please avoid any type of medication.......Many moms H. are saying the same with different words...find something natural, another doctor...but do not medicate him.....and mostly rethink what make you think he may be ADHD..



answers from Sacramento on

We've been dealing with ADHD for six years now and I'd never heard of Procentra until you just mentioned it. I looked it up and it appears to be related to Adderall and Vyvanse.

Our son was on Adderall and Vyvanse and both were terrible matches for him. He had extreme rages as they wore off in the afternoon. I would advise you that if you see the same thing, call the doctor right away. We found this problem only got worse over time. Just keep in mind, too, that how one child reacts to a medication can be completely opposite of how another child does. Your son may do fantastic on Procentra. If not, be prepared to try something else. It can take some trial and error to find the right match.

We also started our son on ADHD medication at four, so I completely understand the range of emotions. We were reluctant, too, but it proved to be the best thing we ever did for our son.

Our son takes Concerta, a long-acting form of Ritalin, and it allows him to lead a normal life when the medication is active. People who meet him now don't even know he has ADHD when the medication is active and our son is a very extreme case of ADHD-combined type.

The most common side effect from ADHD medication is a decrease in appetite. You make up for this with larger meals when the medication isn't active -- in the morning at breakfast and later in the day at dinner. The appetite situation gets a lot better over time, too.

I encourage you to get a subscription to ADDitude magazine and join CHADD so you can stay up to date on the latest about ADHD and connect with others going through the same thing.

Best of luck!


answers from St. Louis on

Never heard of it. Is there a reason they are starting him before he starts school? My kids started the summer before kindergarten except Andy but Andy has a lot of other issues including Autism spectrum. Even with him it seemed like more fighting than results.



answers from Dallas on

Hello J.! I hope you don't mind me sharing my "two cents" on the matter. If it were my child I would try a more natural/wholistic approach. There are always underlying causes like diet or allergies involved. There is a doctor named Deborah Bain in Frisco that I highly recommend: Healthy Kids Pediatrics, Center for Health and Well-Being at ###-###-####. I hope this helps!



answers from New York on

It is really difficult and virtually impossible to diagnose a 4 yo with ADHD.
I would steer clear of medications and try to work on behaviors.



answers from Dallas on

all natural and has helped children and adults with ADHA. Go to and click on Vemma Next. Tastes wonderful. Money back guarantee. I live in Frisco, can meet you and let you see what it tastes like. Order on line my site, and there is a money back guarantee if not happy.


answers from Chicago on

We did not use this medication, but another and found that the results were VERY short term. Our pedi said that with this age group and meds they often have to change because the effects do not last very long. We have stopped all meds with him (6 weeks in) and found that occupational therepy as well as a predictable day and lots of room for organzied crazy (trampoline time, running time etc) helps him a whole lot. He was able to get an IEP thru the school district and attend a specialized preschool that now has him in a position to be in a general ed classroom with some accomodations to make his day run smoothly. I do not want to discourage your choice to try meds, but I do want you to know that if they do not help the way you expect that there still are other ways to work with ADHD in our young ones. Oh, and I agree with our pedi's perspective on medication, it is a temporary tool - not the fix.


answers from Phoenix on

that must be a very new med as I have not heard of it. My 9 yo son was diagnosed officially last summer and has tried about 4 or 5 different meds, most didn't phase him and Vyvance worked but his side effect to that was MAJORLY chewing his nails. We just switched him to Strattera a month ago and so far that seems to be the best. It sort of wears off by afternoon, but we can deal with him so its ok. Our main concern was him focusing and getting work done at school, which is working. You will likely need to try several meds as well as varied doses of each before finding one that works. We have had him on meds since Aug and just now have something that we will keep. Also, he has lost about 8 pounds, which didn't hurt him, so he eats more for breakfast but mostly eats a very good and balanced dinner. So every kid is different, what works for our kids may not work for yours, you just have to keep trying until you find something. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

If you want another opinion from a physician, Dr. Deborah Bain of Healthy Kids Pediatrics in Frisco has helped many families (including her own son) avoid or wean away from ADHD meds.

She's even written a book about how she helps families.

Good luck!

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