Medication for ADD- what have you tried, what has worked, not worked, etc.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by orcaauntie, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Some may remember, I've posted a few threads about my niece. Mom has been trying to be consistent and firm with her but she fights her every step of the way. Calls her B word and tells her she can't tell her what to do. She has been communicating with her Bio-Mom which is against the no-contact order and we worry this may have something to do with her behavior- not a complete reason, but a contributing factor.
    Niece is on 40mg Vyvanse and 1mg Intuniv. Her dr. put her on that and said it was the best for her age and being female. Anyone have experience with these two medications (specifically vyvanse) in an ADD child? Mom says that ever since she got back from my house she has been excessively angry. She wasn't this bad before she left. I know I didn't do anything to make her angry, so I am not sure what is causing it ever since she got back.

    Is it common for a medicine such as Vyvanse to stop working after a period of time? Niece has been on it for about 6 months.

    Mom is going to speak with her dr. and see if she can try her on Risperidone (I think that's what it is.. she said it like "Risp-i-done"). My 10 year old nephew and 8 year old niece are on this medicine along with intuniv and Mom says their anger issues have significantly depleted. Although, as stated, my niece is on vyvanse and intuniv. The 10 and 8 year old were diagnosed with ADHD, while my older niece was diagnosed with ADD. And Mom believes she received the ADD versus ADHD diagnosis because she said she didn't have as much energy- but the issue is that she simply likes to stay up late at night.. and the other medicines would put her to sleep. So she may very well have ADHD. Mom said she does not think that another full evaluation. is necessary but she will ask what her doctors. think. I mentioned to her to see a neuropsychologist as many of you recommended. (did I get that right? Neurophchologist?) so she will look into that.

    Anyways- given this information, can you recommend any medications that may have helped you, if your children have these increasing anger issues? Anything that does not work?
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  2. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    Hi. My youngest son, Slugger, has ADD and was on Strattera, which helped him a tad, but didn't make me not wish for a cattle prod daily. About six months ago, we found out he has iron deficiency anemia. He had a major growth spurt which depleted his iron levels and caused him to start eating/craving weird things--flour, baking chocolate (yuck!), etc. When he was put on iron pills, the cravings went away...and so did the ADD (and his heart murmur.) We realize the iron deficiency was there all the time, but never really reared its ugly head. I don't know if this is the same for your niece. She may be like my oldest son who had ADHD with full blown rages. Strattera helped with both problems. He has been off medications for two years. Every summer we would try to teach him coping skills, but he wasn't mature enough. It wasn't until he was about 15 he could recognize he was going to rage and/or be hyper and do what he needed to do to get himself under control. His friends help him, too. So does sleep. Lots and lots of sleep.

    Has your niece started her period? I know that when my girls were about to start theirs, the rush of estrogen was too much for their brains and they cranked their way around the house for a month or two before their period came.

    I am sorry your family is going through this. It is wonderful you are so supportive and helpful to both your mom and your niece. :)
  3. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Strattera- My mom also mentioned that medicine. All I know is that obviously what she is on is not working so she needs a different type or different dosage. I will make sure mom asks about both Risperidone and Strattera. Something's gotta give.

    Niece has started her period. She is also on Cryselle birth control.. which we cannot take her off of. She started to regulate her periods but now with her saying things like "I will just go get banged." makes us realize we cannot take her off birth control. Maybe she needs a different kind of that too. She's been on this birth control for about 6-7 months and the fits of rage were few and far between until she returned from visiting me for the summer. If we switch her BC I am worried she may "get banged" and get prego.. know what I mean.
    Anemia is an interesting thought. I am not sure if she has been tested for that. I used to be anemic and I never remember it causing me such anger, but I guess everyone reacts to things differently! Thank you!!!
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    ADD vs. ADHD - some argue there is only one diagnosis with sub-types, others keep the split. Its almost artificial, though, because there are a range of symptoms and behaviors with ADD/ADHD - and the one consistent symptom is difficulty managing attention. From there... its a broad range.

    Generally no diff between the two in terms of medications, accomodations, etc.

    At this age, with growth spurts and hormones... dosages can be WAY off in just a few months.
    I don't know of any formal protocols for medications - but here, at least, they start with the "old standards" first, then work their way up. You can't even get Straterra (or can't get it funded) unless you've tried the others first.

    The oldest is Ritalin and its chemically-similar family - Concerta, the generics, etc. Longest history in terms of side effects being known etc. From there, they go through the other stims, before going to non-stims.

    Risperidone is typically NOT an ADHD drug... but sometimes comes into play when the executive functions issues are severe. Can be used at the same time as Ritalin family - not sure about other interactions, though. Can produce severe weight gain.

    Trying to get the right combination of medications at the right strength and the right timing is tricky. There is no magic formula, its all trial and error.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Strattera doesn't address the hyperactivity, but did help Miss KT with her focus during junior high. Didn't work too well after that, and she went on Adderall and Risperdal while in high school. I loved Risperdal. No more holes punched in walls, no more doors torn off the hinges and thrown at me, no more broken saucepans or smashed kitchen counters...while Miss KT did put on some weight, it wasn't excessive.

    The doctors here prefer to start with Strattera, as it's not a stimulant, but if your niece has any underlying depression, she may become even more emotional and irrational. When my Hubby was diagnosis'd, his doctor started him on Strattera over my extreme objections. He had previously been diagnosis'd unipolar depressive, and even though I ramped up the dosage to correspond to his weight, because it is weight dependent, and he was a MESS. A BIG MESS. Emotional, angry, snippy, furious, teary I started tracking his dosages and behaviors on a spreadsheet. When we went back to the doctor, I handed him the spreadsheet and said, "Ritalin. Now." He's doing very well on Ritalin.
  6. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    BC pills are known to cause rage in some women. Non hormonal forms of birth control areavailable, such as an IUD, which would remove the hormonal aspect of the BC. I don't believe there are age limits, but you would have to consult her doctor.
  7. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Thanks everyone. I gave Mom the site info finally, so you may hear from her some time, too.. and not just the "auntie" :)
    Insane: She def. has a focusing issue in school which I believe is the reason they began Vyvanse. But, if it is a contributing factor to the more recent anger issues, then there has got to be one out there that works better for her and doesn't cause such anger. Maybe pairing it with another medication, maybe a new one altogether. We'll see what doctor says. It is very possible that her dosage is off, from when she first started it due to growing/weight, etc. I just truly think that if the Resperidone is working for the other two, keeping their rage/anger at bay for the most part that it could truly benefit my niece although I know everyone reacts differently- there is the same negative history and genetics involved :). I just hope something works.. soon. She's developing what seems to be hatred for my mom since my niece isn't getting her way and mom is being more strict than ever before.

    Methuselah- I think IUDs are typically given only after you've had a child. At least that's typical- but people that have not had kids, have gotten IUDs.

    All- I've done a little reasearch on Vyvanse and it seems many report a side effect of increased anger/irritability/rage, etc. It's like they are a different person. Niece has said many times she tries to hold in her anger with- my Mom but just can't do it and explodes. She also said that crying makes her more mad. This leads me to the believe even more that this Vyvanse is just not the medicine for her.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    We have tried them Tenex. What works for one does not necessarily work for another. Vyvance is what the two youngest take now but for years when the both boys were with me they did well on the time released older stims.
    It's trial and error. The good news is that it is quick in and quick out so the weeding process doesn't have to last too long. For onw Risperdal is also used. DDD
  9. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    What is "onw"? Risperidone is what my other niece and nephew are on and Mom has seen a significant change. I believe Risperidone & Risperdal are one in the same, no?
    Good news is Mom has a meeting with a new psychologist on Monday. Meeting with new psychiatrist, niece's current counselor and the director of the facility I believe. The new psychiatrist was chosen based on specializing in niece's current behavioral situation. I hope something comes of it. Also she has a doctor appointment (reg doctor) on Monday and Mom will discuss the anger issues- since this doctor prescribed her current medications, maybe they can add another medication since the vyvanse isn't helping with the mood any longer... but does help her focus.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Not the same, but related. As in - not as close as "generic"... one is an older way of getting the chemical to the brain, the other is a revised way... not the identical chemical composition in the drug If that makes sense.
  11. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Aha! Yes.. makes sense- I think. Like when my insurance company will cover the "therapeutic equivalent" vs. the "generic" because it's cheaper. It's different chemicals that make up the medicine, put together to provide the therapeutic qualities of the generic. Whereas the generic uses the same chemicals to make up the drug.
    I went through that with my BC- and the "therepeutic equivalent" is never as good..
  12. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    My difficult child takes Amphetamine (generic for something). He takes up to three times per day. We choose the short term dose (4 hours) instead of extended because for if he takes the all day strength he will most likely not eat lunch. He takes one dose every morning 7 days a week. He takes a noon time after lunch during school days. The after school dose is given if he has homework to help focus on.

    difficult child can tell that it is helping when he needs it noticing when he misses a dose.
  13. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    My 10 y/o is ADHD and he takes 70mg of Vyvanse daily. It took a while to find the right medication and dose but it seems to be working. If he god forbid misses a dose we can tell immediately due to the increased hyperactivity and his inability to concentrate.
  14. KatieLouWho

    KatieLouWho Guest

    Kate is 7 and has been ( so far) diagnosed with ADD and Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), we finally got into see a developmental pediatrician and he is thinking Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified but we have lots of testing to do before we get there. So far she has tried compounded Ritalin which made her very aggressive, sometimes violent. We then worked with Concerta, worked for a year but as we moved up the dosages her anxiety became so bad that she was pulling out her hair and not sleeping. We stopped Concerta at the end of June when school and let her have a summer without medication just to see how she was ( anxiety was way less but concentration was very poor) then we met with the new Dr. Aug 29th. He is one of the best in Vancouver, spent two hours talking mostly to Kate and when he was speaking about her, he sent her to the "hang out" room to play while we talked. We started Strattera and so far its been great. She is a bit teary sometimes but otherwise, I haven't received any notes home from school about her so we are happy campers :)