Moms Who Have Children on Concerta

Updated on April 28, 2008
L.S. asks from Birmingham, AL
20 answers

Hi,I have a 5yr old son (will be 6 in Oct)who has just started on Concerta 2 weeks ago. I was wondering if anyone out there who has children on this what they do for the not eating part. He was on 1 dose amount for a week, and then his Dr. switched his dose this past Monday to a higher dose. What I have seen so far is that he is starting to not eat like he did before starting Concerta. He will take about 2-3 bites(if that much) and then say he is full. I want to start now trying to help this side affect. He will be starting K in the fall, and so we are working on getting his meds adjusted before he starts "Big School". I thank you in advance for your advise.

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So What Happened?

I first want to thank everyone for responding and anyone who does. I have got a lot of questions for my son's doctor now. Like why she didn't check is blood pressure, weight, and heart before hand. (We were taking him to sessions for anger management and the Phys. said after many months that it is ADHD-)Anyway, I need to ask his Dr about the lower dose between 18mg and the 36mg. I have noticed that he will eat more in the mornings here lately, and the other night he kept eating and eating so that is something to watch. If anyone else has some input please let me know. It great talking to people, especially MOM's who are dealing with this or have delt with it. I wish everyone out there all the best and god bless. If you want to email me directly please do so at [email protected]____.com and in the subject line please put "son on concerta" so I won't delete it. Again thank you and I will let you know what his CURRENT Dr says (that may change) and if I find out anything new on this I will pass it along.

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J.E.

answers from New Orleans on

My son is on concerta 18mg and it really doesn't affect him that much. My other son is on Focalin and he weighs as much as my 5 year old(hes 7). I would see about trying another one. Did you have a complete work up on him? He just seems to be awfully young being diagnosed. Good Luck...

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M.M.

answers from Jonesboro on

I have an 11 yr old who lost 15lbs the first 2 months he started Concerta... We finally started getting him up earlier and fixing him a good big breakfast and then giving him his meds. It has really helped in the weight lose part of it. He still doesn't eat much through out the day but at least he gets a good breakfast!

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H.C.

answers from Texarkana on

Hi L.,
It's good to hear the other mothers children started eating again! As for my son, that's not the way it was. He was diagnosed when he was 5 and was put on three different kinds of meds! He was like a zombie. I took him back to the doctor & instead of taking one of the meds away, they took one away & added something else. I ended up taking him to another doctor. They put him on Concerta only. He didn't have an appetite & after 6 months, she changed the dosage to 25mg once a day. About 2 months he finally started eating healthy again. When he turned 13 they took him off the meds completely. She said that when kids go through puberty, in most cases, they either outgrow it or learn to manage it without meds. My son, now 16, has been completely off the medication ever since. He's calm..well, as calm as a teenage boy can be, but normal. His attention is just as normal. Yeah, he might get side tracked or his mind might wonder sometimes, but who doesn't? The other doctor was going to keep him on the meds & said he'd need it when he's an adult to. I do not like the thought of my kid being on meds, so to hear this other doctor say he may not need it after puberty was music to my ears. Just hang in there, he'll start eating you out of house & home before you know it. Hope this helps

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A.C.

answers from Lafayette on

Hi L.,

My adopted daughter was on Concerta for two years. She began the Concerta at age 5, after her teacher lovingly approached me asking to have her evaluated. We, too, struggled with the loss of appetite. I learned what works, and what does not.

During the day, only offer a SMALL amount for lunch, OR do not expect him to eat much if his school provides lunch. Feed him a BIG breakfast, and provide his favorite snacks during the day but again...in small amounts. Since they have no appetite, it is easier for them to 'force' themselves to eat a few bites if they know that is all that is required than to try to choke down a larger quantity. Then, feed good snack afterschool (PB&J with lots of J!?!) and supper. Again, small quantities is the key. If they are still hungry after, they will ask for more. But, they will not be turned off by a larger portion.

***Big help...I bought a case of Ensure Plus Chocolate, add a few tablespoons of chocolate syrup and a teaspoon or so of sugar to it, and she drinks that like crazy. By itself, she turns her nose up, but her doctor said it would not hurt to spike it up a little to make it more appealing, so we did and it works. She is no longer losing weight, but holding her own. It takes time for body and psyche to adjust to this medication, and the appetite gets a little better with time.

Oh, and do not be surprised if after a year or two, you or his teacher starts to notice the meds not working as well. It happened on our end and we changed meds. All is well again.

Hope this helps!

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M.V.

answers from Lake Charles on

Hi L.,
My son is now 14 years old. He has been on some form of Concerta since 2nd. grade. I was like you and worried about the side effects. But, the advantage to him outweighed the side effects. Yes, he didn't eat or when he did eat it was late in the evening, like right at his bedtime. The change we saw in him and the discipline and grades was QUITE an improvement. He is now 5'7" and 140 lbs. He still has spells where he doesn't eat at meals and waits until he is ready to go to bed to eat or gets up during the night to eat. He is on a VERY high dose of Concerta now. I've questioned his doctor and he said he would probably be on it the rest of his life. But, that he would learn when he would need to take his medication and when he wouldn't. Believe me as a former teacher and mother of a 14 year old, please give your child a chance with the medication. I would rather see him on the medication and have a good year of kindergarten, than a bad year and not like school, like my son.
Take care and let me know how everything turns out.
M. V.

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M.M.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi L.,

My son is also on Concerta. When his dose increases, he goes through a short period of appetite loss, then it comes back rampant! Hopefully this will be the case for you as well.

I would encourage him to eat several times throughout the day, snacks frequently. I would also speak with the people he is with during the day to see if his appetite is different with them than it is at home. He may be eating more at daycare than you realize.

Concerta has helped my son sooo much with his grades as well as his ability to interact with the other kids. But, if the loss of apetite continues beyond a week or two, I would speak with his doctor to see if he has any suggestions.

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V.S.

answers from New Orleans on

Hi! My 11 yr old daughter is not on Concerta, although we tried it, but she is on Adderall. She does not eat well on the meds either. I always let her eat a good breakfast in the AM before taking her meds. It will kick in before she gets to school, so she will never eat the breakfast there even if she doesn't eat at home. I also let her "pig out" when the meds wear off. I let her eat pretty much anything she will. This works well for me because she doesn't eat a lot of junk. She prefers fruit. She has always been a very tiny child, so some people think the meds are the cause of her skinniness, but she was like that before! We also do boost and ensure. Those types of drinks are rich in nutrients that may be lost from not eating during the day. As long as his weight stays healthy there really is no need to panic. That's what my dr says. Good luck! -V.

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K.W.

answers from Tulsa on

I have a 5 year old son on another form of ADHD medication of which did the same thing. Throughout the day offer him snacks, drinks whenever possible. What I do is send healthy high in vitamins and nutrition snacks to daycare with him (for example: granola bars, banana, apples or peanuts if not allergic, crackers and cheese. I also give him Boost drinks at dinner every night and send Carnation Instant breakfast drinks with him to school and have them give it to him at lunch and snack times. Doing this has really helped my son. I hope that this helps you with your son.

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H.

answers from New Orleans on

My son has been on Concerta for almost a year now. He's doing wonderful! He's in fourth grade and is finally gaining confidence in himself. He too has a reduction in appetite. But I've noticed one he does eat better if you give him food he really likes. Two, he seems to be hungry late at night after the meds have worn off. He has gotten skinnier but it's not bad. I encourage him to try to eat more because if he does go too long without eating b/c he doesn't think he's hungry, he will get the most horrible migraine...so it's motivation for him to make himself at least nibble. I actuall was considering gettting him pediasure to off set the lack of appetite. I have a follow-up appointment with his doctor in the morning and will let you know if he suggests anything else. Good luck. Believe in your child too.

H.

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M.C.

answers from Texarkana on

Hi L.,

My 7 yr. old son is also on Concerta. It was just increased to 27 mg per day but I did notice little appetite loss with the 18 mg dose he was on before. Our Dr. appts are 2 wks apart until we get the meds right, but then we will go to once a month. He lost 2 lbs in a month on the meds but he is about 75 lbs so it's not necessarily a bad thing. For breakfast I make him a sausage/bacon, egg,& cheese on taost with a glass of milk or juice a tell him he has to eat at least half before we can leave for school. He doesn't eat a lot during lunch, just kinda picks, but will eat things that are favorites. His is time-released so by about 6:30 in the evening he is hungry and will usually eat a pretty good supper. This is only our second month on meds so I am new at this, but he started out the year a strait A student and now is down to C's and D's. My husband and I really thought long and hard about the meds issue until he just seemed miserable about being able to finish school work, finish things around the house, etc. He is doing much better now. He has a really good doctor and I completely trust his opinion.

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D.S.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi L., my name is D. I'am a stay at home mom of 2 boys (age 10 & 2) my oldest son Blake is on concerta and has been since he was 4 and I know exactly what you are dealing with, first off that is one of the main side effects of the medicine, all I can tell you is have patients, it will get better, Blake went through the same thing for quite awhile but what I did was made him drink those pediasure drinks to give him the vitamines and nutrients that he wasnt getting, once you get your son medicine regulated and he gets it in his system he will start eating. Blake eats like a horse!!!

I hope this helps a little bit

P.S Sincerely,
BE PATIENT it will get easier D. Sanders

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T.F.

answers from Oklahoma City on

My daughter is on concerta also. It has been the only med that has worked we tried 5 different ones in the last year. Yes she does have a low appitite but she does eat more when it wheres off at night. Try giving it to him earlier in the morning. Also don't give it to him on the weekends that way you know he will eat a good meals on two days a week. That is what I do most weekends so she doesn't lose weight.

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A.P.

answers from Tulsa on

My son is much older with ADHD, weight loss is always a concern. My son is 12 and has a verocious apetite but still has weight loss. Since your son is not eating much you might try to give him several small healthy snacks throughout the day.If this is the only side effect he has it may be the best med for him? Continue to talk with your Dr. about your concerns. Are your Dr. visits spaced closely together while your trying new meds?
A. Pickett

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C.R.

answers from New Orleans on

I have a really hard time trying to understand why all of these mothers have put their children on such hard drugs at such a young age! Why is everyone ADHD?? Aren't five-year-olds supposed to be hyperactive?

PS, please do NOT follow the advice of the mother who suggested to not give the medication on the weekends. Medicines like this work only if you are very careful to give them at the same times every day. Just like anti-depressants. Everyone is on some kind of pill these days.....

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A.S.

answers from Houma on

My 6 year old son was on Adderall for 6 months. His doctor switched him to Concerta because the Adderall was seriously affecting his appetite and he was having stomach pains and headaches. his doctor told me that concerta has milder side effects. Since switching medications, he is eating much better. Teh concerta is 18mg that he is taking. Why did the dr. switch him to a higher dose? Was he still having trouble? I would be concerned about upping the med unnecessarily. hope this helps. Always willing to talk if you have more questions, my email is [email protected]____.com

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L.H.

answers from Shreveport on

My son takes concerta, and Eating has been an issue as well. I give my son a carnation instant breakfast drink in the morning instead of milk. It helps to make sure he gets the neccessary calories, and nutrition of a full meal. As far as he knows he is just getting chocolate milk in the morning. Cost can be an issue if you get the premade cans- so I get the container of pwder- it lasts about 2 weeks.

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R.A.

answers from New Orleans on

Hi, I just talked with my sons doctor about this at his appointment... They switched his medication. He had lost 3 pounds in one month. You doc will moniter his weight and adjust his meds accordingly. I make sure that at least one meal a day is something he really loves... like I will make him a big breakfast in the morning with eggs & bacon. I still have to coax him to eat but when he smells things he likes it is a easier. Good luck. The meds were a lifesaver for my son. He has gone from crying, fit throwing & being disruptive in Kindergarden & 1st grade (he started meds at the end of his 1st grade year) to now in 3rd grade, he is on honor roll & has gained a confidence that was sorely lacking before. I was a very hard long road but learning to parent a child with adhd was the best thing I could have done. Use every resource they offer... they does wonders. Best of luck & BIG HUGS from one adhd mom to another.. work on the hard days & reap the rewards on the good ones:)

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L.M.

answers from Birmingham on

My daughter, who is now 11, has been on many different medications for ADHD. She did use the Concerta for about 18 months, but I could not handle the not eating. She is thin as a rail and doesnt need any help in that area. We have recently placed her on a new medication called Focalin XR. It is a time release medication taken once a day and it last for about 8 hours. The only side effect she's had with it, is she now eats us out of house and home. I don't know what the different doses are so it might not be for your child. My daughter has been on something since she was 6 and this one has worked the best for us. She has been on Focalin for a little over a year and it's still working for her.

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B.F.

answers from Tulsa on

I don't know anything about meds for adhd. But, this VERY morning on the news they were talking about kids developing high blood pressure or some heart issue. They were telling parents to have their children's hearts checked out. Just felt like I should pass that on.

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J.F.

answers from Fort Smith on

I have the answer - but you will have to call me on my cell phone - this is NOT a trick - I am a very honest, upright person who does have the answer - My phone # is ###-###-####
J.

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