difficult child 1's question

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    difficult child 1 asked me at bedtime last night when he can stop taking medication. I told him maybe never. He said he's not going to take pills for the rest of his life. I can see his point, he's been on medications since he was 5 and has had 2 REALLY bad experiences with two different medications.

    I thought maybe if I put my thoughts into words and got some input from more experienced parents, I might be able to come to an educated decision. Here goes:

    He's been diagnosis'd with ADHD since he was 3. He's been on medications for it since he started kiindergarten. We have never tried a drug holiday or summers off or any of those things. Now that he has been diagnosis'd with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), I wonder if the Strattera is really necessary. I'm kind of leaning toward giving it a shot this summer. If the behavior goes south, we can always start it back up again (now that we know it works).

    He's been on the Tenex for over a year to "help with impulsiveness". It has helped with the sleep issue (waking in the middle of the night or really early in the morning). He only takes it at bedtime because his blood pressure went down with an added daytime dose. Now that things have calmed down and so much of the stress (big time school issues) is gone, I wonder if the sleep issues would still be a problem.

    We see the psychiatrist in April and want some idea before we go. I'm afraid of what might happen but don't want to base decisions on just the fear. Do I try a "drug holiday"? What do you all think? I really value your opinions. You've all gotten us this far.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Our psychiatrist says... Don't change what is working, especially when the circumstances haven't changed.
    My difficult child doesn't want medications for the rest of his life either. psychiatrist said... let's get you through all of your schooling, because that is difficult for you. After that, we can look at trying to reduce medications. Plus, by then, he'll be done growing and all the hormone changes.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Q has said the same and it's not reasonable to think of stopping (seizures, brain injury and all)...

    Seems natural that they want to be what they think is "normal" so when pointed out his friends and cousins who take medications it helped.

    If you do want to try going off maybe start with the Straterra going little by little so you can monitor and go up faster if he shows a need.

    One thing that would slow me down is that I have friends where once symptoms came back they were worse, or the medications didn't help anymore if they needed them again.

    But what if he doesn't need them? We took that risk lowering Q's concerta and it was so worth it!

    No easy answers. O could argue both ways. If things are well, I'd probably leave them alone. I just am sick of issues.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tedo, you are medicating hyperactive and inattentive symptoms right? He may not need to be on medication his whole life. Personally I would start with the sleep medication first and try to change it to something natural like melatonin. There is this wonderful stuff at Walmart now called Dream Water which puts me to sleep. Its just melatonin and something else. I love the stuff. I keep forgetting to pick more up...lol. Im betting just the melatonin drops would work just as well.

    Once you get the sleep fixed....then see one summer if you can handle the hyperactivity and inattention through something besides medication. Jamie went off medication at 14. Now he was only ADHD and not Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) but he had to be off medications all through HS in order to join the military. He took his last pill the last day of middle school.

    Jamie used exercise to control his symptoms. He ran constantly. Long distance running. Served him well when he got to boot camp...lol.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think the other medication was not only for sleep, but maybe I'm wrong. I thought it was for behaviors too?
  6. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member


    My two ADHD kids are off medications. They were on them until they were mature enough to develop and work on coping skills and were willing to spot verbal and visual clues from others for when to put the skills to work, so they could personally manage the disorder and not the medications. We told them until they can manage the ADHD by themselves the medications will do it for them. Telling them that gave them a sense of control over it, even at the age of 7 or 8.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    You don't know for sure. Most people don't want to be on drugs for the rest of their lives. So it's a reasonable response.
    Once your difficult child is more mature and can see the benefits, things will calm down.
    The only thing that my difficult child agreed to point blank was the scrip for Xalatan for his glaucoma. He does NOT want to be blind! The fear of the "illness" must be greater than the fear or disgust for drugs.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tenex really helps with impulsiveness somewhat but what it really helps more with is the rebound of stims. And it can be somewhat sedating. Remember it is a blood pressure medication. All this is used off label. If he is growing up and is having more control of his impulses then he might not need it. The straterra may hold him. If he does need something for sleep, the melatonin may help him regulate until he learns to regulate himself.
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'm favor trying to wean down medications once a child is doing well. But, carefully, and under a doctor's close eye.

    Tigger has been successfully weaned from all psychiatric medications. He still has to take Lamitcal (seizures) and Inderol (migranes).

    Eeyore is having a rough time and at first I wanted the doctor to up the medications but now I am wondering if maybe his medications are too high??

    It is such a hard decision to make. And the reality is that WE make the decisions with the psychiatrist's guidance because none of our kiddos see their psychiatrist often enough and the psychiatrist makes their decision based on the info WE give them.