Getting the medication into a stubborn difficult child......

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andrea Danielle, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    Ok, now I need advice on how to get my stubborn difficult child to take the medication....
    He is trialing Dexadrine, to rule out severe ADHD but he likely has Early Onset Bi-Polar (EOBP).
    I have tried crushing up the tablet and hiding it in milk or yogurt but he figured it out and refused to finish it. Then I found a great new pharmacy that will turn any medication into a liquid with our pick of flavour, so I chose chocolate, spent $100 on it only to find that he hated the flavour and refused to have it a second time.
    Then I convinced him to let me put the crushed up pill in his hot chocolate, I explained to him him why he needed the medication and that it would help him etc.. It has worked for the past 3 days but it has become a huge area of conflict, it is making our mornings hell and we know he is going to need medications for a very long time so we need to get off to the right start.
    Any ideas? :hammer:

  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Do you think you could wake him a few minutes early and give it to him while he's half asleep? Or possibly give him a reward for being medication compliant each week? I know there are some threads in the archives with practical advice for this problem, you may want to take a look there as well.
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    been there done that and only now at age ten am having success in cooperation. My difficult child had huge sensory issues in the oral and olfactory areas so this isn't unexpected (as well as contributed to his still not handling swallowing pills).

    Always be sure to check with the pharmacist to be sure that a pill is crushable. Anything that is time released should not be cut or crushed.

    Check the website online to see if there are some other formulas available. Twice I have found more child friendly options of the brand name that the doctors didn't know about--once was a disolvable powder and the other a stong mint flavored liquid.

    I have had best luck by not telling my difficult child he's taking the medication and just hiding it randomly into snacks. I did this successfully for years with the stuff that tasted nasty.

    My best results were with chocolate and mint flavors and changing the way I was presenting it so he didn't catch on. I dished up Celexa for awhile between to halves of Oreo cookies--put it between two sides with frosting so it was double frosting. Mint chocolate chip ice cream works well also.

    Add the medication to anything you're mixing in at the last minute so it doesn't disolve and spoil the whole food or drink. Hot liquids will always disolve the medication quickly.

    These days now that he's cooperating is to take the liquid and add a teaspoon of sugary Koolaid mix plus an ounce of water.

    I've heard some parents having good luck with Cool Whip.

    I know of one girl who from little on preferred to swallow an adult pill instead of taking the sugary sweet liquid form.

    A few weeks ago he was pretty desperate to avoid sinus surgery so he took two very nasty tasting liquids down followed by water followed by a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream to kill the flavor. But again, his motivation was very high--don't think I could have pulled this off even two years ago.
  4. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    Thanks TM and SRL! Great ideas.
    I checked the archives and there is some great information there. Maybe I will try to teach him to swallow the tablet, it hadn't even occurred to me but he is 5 and maybe he is ready...

    Take care,
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I've heard that starting with sprinkles, then mini M&M's is a good starting place.
  6. transformtriumph

    transformtriumph New Member

    Two things that helped me were having my child tell the pharmacist what he wanted, and giving rewards for taking the medications.
    My younger son also prefers pills over liquids.
  7. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    We practed with mini M & M 's and tic tacs. For each m & m he swallowed he got to eat three.

    Also for a while I cut the pill in half and put it on the edge of straw. Then I fed difficult child a drink and it went right down.

    At first I bought the liquid yogurt drinks and sprinkled them into the yougurt. He tasted this and complained alot. Others have tried using ice cream. I've even see the shcool nurse give two kids their medication with icecream--whatever works.

    Good luck--

    How is he doing with the dexadrine?
  8. amy4129

    amy4129 New Member

    We gave Corey his medication in a small spoon of grape jelly. This was after he refused yogurt, ice cream and pudding.
  9. Ltlredhen

    Ltlredhen New Member


    My difficult child has been swallowing pills for almost 2 years now, hard to believe. My 27 year old has trouble with the smallest pills, lol.

    If the pill will fit on the end of the straw and not fall in, difficult child can just suck down what ever liquid and down will go the medication.

    Some days I hand difficult child his medications and he downs them. Other mornings I have to pretend it is pirate medicine or Tarzan pills. Hey, whatever works. :rofl:

  10. hlrc102

    hlrc102 New Member

    There are special cups that can be purchased from online medical suppliers that have a shelf near the top where you can put the pills, and then fill with liquid. When the child tips the cup back to drink, the pills naturally fall to the back of the throat and then the liquid chases. These were really a godsend for us when teaching difficult child to take pills. And the price was nominal. I think we paid 2.50 a piece. They were worth their price in gold.

  11. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    More great ideas on how to get the medication in him! Thanks!

    Jannie, he wasn't doing so well on Dexadrine. Then at my last apt with the psychiatrist (and team who watch from behind the mirror) they noticed that he might have some tics. He was in a rage because he wanted his grandfather to come into the room to play with him and hid under the couch screaming over and over again the same thing, something like "I want pappy to come in now!!", about 40 times I would say. He was also blinking really hard repeatedly when he was in this rage. He was also making strange facial expressions when he was playing his game boy. So, they think he as some tics and that he should not be on dexedrine as this would make them worse.
    So, starting this Friday after our next psychiatric appointment. they are going to put him on Risperdal. I cringe to think about it. this drug was prescribed by another doctor last winter and I refused because it sounded too scary but I think we will give it a try. If Risperdal worked for anyone, please let me know. If it didn't and it was a horrible experience please don't tell me because I got too freaked out last time when I heard the bad stories :highvoltage:

    We need to do something, he is scaring us. He ran after his older brother yesterday morning with a huge butcher knife. He wasn't in a rage and likely wouldn't have hurt him but it was horrifying and dangerous for himself too. Yes, we have hidden all of the knives now, it was the first time he had done this :wildone:

  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Medication rxns are highly individual but I've heard parents report good results with Risperdal. Outside of the weight gain, it seems to have fewer side effects, especially wild behavioral side effects, than many of the medications. We refused it for my son too (wound up not using medications at that time instead) but after hearing more about it I'd probably feel more comfortable with it for a younger child than with most of the medications out there.

    Let us know how it goes.
  13. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    My difficult child took risperdal. It worked well for him. We did eventually stop it due to weight gain, but it has many positive benefits as well. We wound up stopping the risperdal and started taking a true mood stablizer. I have seem many kids do quite well with risperdal.

    Chasing a sibling with a knife is dangerous and quite serious. Many would even suggest to bring him to the hospital with this type of behavior...Please put away and/or lock up your knives and other sharp objects until difficult child is more stable....Even though the doctors are suggesting strong sounds like your difficult child really needs it.

    Good luck with it.
  14. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    I taught difficult child to swallow pills by getting the empty pill cases from the health food store and putting colored flavored sugar in them. The first few he just opened up and ate. Then while he was learning if the pill case dissolved while he was trying to swallow it it wasn't a big deal because it tasted good. Now he can take 2 or 3 at a time and loves to tell everyone about it. I taught him when he was 5 yr. old.