Medication for J

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    So things change... as we all know... and I now find myself in rather a different place in regard to ADHD medication. I begin to see it as something neutral in itself, rather than necessarily "bad", and that if it works, if it helps, well... we should use it. J continues to have the usual problems at home, school and with social relationships that always go along with the ADHD territory. In addition, he is occasionally doing dangerous things - most recent was setting fire with a lighter to an olive tree and plants outside the house, much to the fury of the watchman. And I could go on with examples. His inability to deal with frustration, to control his emotions, seems to be getting worse not better. He is a very bright boy who learns relatively little at school, seems almost "stupid" in comparison to his peers.

    So... we have twice seen the psychiatrist here in Marrakech who specialises in ADHD and he today gave me a prescription for Strattera, the only ADHD medication available in Morocco. I know it is a non-stimulant that works in a different way to the stimulants. It is taken once a day in the morning and is supposed to last 24 hours. We are starting on 10 mg, moving up to 20 mg after a week. I will see the psychiatrist again in three weeks and we will monitor the situation for 8 weeks to see whether the benefits outweigh any side effects.
  2. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Best of luck to you. I hope the medication works!
  3. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Wow! I know this is a big decision for you. I hope the medication works, I've grown quite fond of your boy. My difficult child 2 was around 7 when he started lighting fires. I put him in the bathroom, gave him a box of matches and forced him to light all of them and throw them in the sink. The taboo things lost their charm after that.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Strattera DOES have a ramp-up period - it isn't "instant-on" like the stims. Once you get the levels adjusted, it can be effective. We use it as a 24/7 baseline (and add stims for specific activities). Many adults are on Strattera because of the 24/7 coverage.
  5. justour2boys

    justour2boys Momto2Boys

    I second all this as my oldest is on Straterra. We too added a small stimulant dose for school time coverage.

    I only thing I will mentioned is stomach issues. We were giving it to him in the AM with breakfast and he would begin to have stomach pains about 10 in the morning that lasted all day. We switch and he now takes it right after he finishes dinner, and we have had no stomach issues.
  6. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    You have done a great job doing without it, and now it will help you continue your hard work! I wish you and J the best of luck and I hope you have great results soon :) Hugs
  7. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    Malika, I know how big of a step this is for you. Medication isn't the monster that often haunts our thoughts. The right medication at the right dose can make a HUGE difference in someone's quality of life. Ultimately, that's what made the decision for me. I wanted difficult child 1 to have the best quality of life I could give him.

    We tried stimulants first and, after only 1 dose, said absolutely not. I watched my 4 year old "take a drug trip". It was terrifying. I waited until he started school before trying a non-stimulant because I wasn't willing to ever try a stimulant again. In our case, Strattera has been a godsend. He's been on it for 10 years now and it has made a huge difference in his ability to focus AND controlling his impulses. It did take a while to notice changes and get to the right dose. We also went through a couple weeks of stomach upset (eased if taken with a meal) and lack of appetite but it went away quickly. In our case, he takes 40mg in the morning and 25 mg in the early afternoon (he weighs 80 lbs and it's weight-based dosing).

    I know there are some where Strattera was a nightmare or didn't help at all. However, in most cases, it has been helpful. Good luck and I really hope you have the kind of success with it as we've had. It's made a big difference for the good.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I think the MAIN reason I am willing to try another medication experiment now (after the disastrous two-day experience with a long-release form of a stimulant) is because it is a non-stimulant. I am not willing to trade off improved concentration/behaviour at school for horrible rebound effects and (especially) insomnia for a child who has always slept early and well.

    I do have a question though. Brand-name Strattera is expensive here. I see that one can actually buy atomexetine in generic form without a prescription online... it would be much cheaper to do that. Obviously I will discuss it with the psychiatrist, but I wonder if it is a safe alternative or whether people have had experience with that?
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Its expensive everywhere!
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Okay... thanks for that... does anyone know if generic Strattera is a widely accepted alternative?
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Malika, I've only heard of Strattera on this board. Sorry I can't help there ... but I wanted to say that you've come a long way, and I know how hard it is for you to place your son on medication. We went through the same thing. Looking back on it, I wish we'd done it sooner.
    Sounds like your son is having developmental issues, iow, wanting to try new things but not having a set of internal brakes. We went through the fire thing and the stealing and lord knows what else. And I know regular kids--all boys--who also went through the fire thing. Sigh.
    And yes, stims are expensive, VERY expensive, everywhere.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks... guess I'm not going to get an answer about generics :)
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Straterra is an antidepressant. Takes about 6-8 weeks for full affect and can also cause similar side effects so keep a good eye out and good luck. Stimulants made my son mean and aggressive, but antidepressants were bad for him too.

    I wish you and sweet little J lots of luck and hope this does the trick! :)
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sorry... I was doing some research for you, but there's a lot going on here so I got distracted.
    Bottom line? I wouldn't trust the generics.
  15. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hmmm.... then that really does make life difficult. The cost of Strattera here is such that I simply would not be able to afford to pay for a monthly course at a higher rate. We could possibly keep travelling to the UK to get a much, much cheaper prescription there but that obviously is not ideal either.
    I wonder if I am confused about what a generic is, though? I have read that only brand-name Strattera is available in the States - yet I see that one can buy it online, listed as generic?? And much cheaper, about the quarter of the price, than it is here.
    I need to think this through because there is no point in starting J on a medication that I cannot afford to keep him on.
  16. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Generic strattera is not available here because of the patten (as happens with most new drugs). Here's info about it here in the states:

    Looks like "generic" online medications would not be a good idea.

    I would speak to the doctor also about his/her thoughts on Intuniv and Kapvay (Clonidine). They are also non stimulants used to off label to treat adhd.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Our increases were about 2 weeks apart.
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I would not experiment in any way. The MD is the only one you have available that recognizes and treats the problem. The only way to know if J will benefit is "following the Dr's orders". I've known people who have changed dosages and changed the time of day, and others who have failed to make sure the medications were after meals or before meals for their convenience. Keep a record and IF (and I hope not) any problems result share your notes with the Dr. He is J's only shot. Good luck. DDD
  19. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I understand your point of view, DDD. However, the doctors really don't KNOW. They are just guessing - and different doctors make different guesses. From the research I've done, there could be an argument for keeping to a low dose of Strattera permanently - eg
    Of course I'm not the expert, the doctor is - particularly when it comes to medication. But it's really not an exact science.
  20. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I wish you both the very best. Each of the medications can bring helpful results and giving it a shot is the only way to know what is best for J. I'm hoping you find the perfect one for your son. Hugs DDD