medication vacation

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crazymama30, May 5, 2008.

  1. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I have been thinking about this for some time. Summer vacation is almost here, and I am contemplating removing difficult child from medications to see what happens. He has been on medications of some type for over the last 2-3 years. He has been doing quite well since Christmas.

    Now, the other side of me wants to know what I am thinking. It took us years to get where we are, what makes me think we should stop!! The reason he is doing so well is because he is medicated. It took so long to get where we are now, why take the chance that it will take that long again?

    Right now I am very confused. I will not act while I am unsure of myself, but sometimes I wonder. I am sure some of you have been there done that, what was the outcome? Was it a mistake, or a positive? I realize that this is a huge thing, and want to do the right thing. I also want to have a good summer, as this is the first summer in 2 years that I am not enrolled in college. I have 3-4 camping trips planned, and a trip to the beach. That maybe hard to do with difficult child unmedicated. I am just torn.
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I may not be the best person to respond, since we have only stopped Miss KT's medications once, when she started with this doctor about 8 years ago, and it was THE WORST Christmas vacation ever. That said...I believe that if everything is working smoothly, and difficult child is pleased with himself and his accomplishments, and is able to work and play fairly well with others, why upset the apple cart? Have a wonderful summer that everyone can remember with happiness.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I have to echo Mary's sentiments. Unless there were issues surrounding medications and questions as to effectiveness, I would not experiment with a medication holiday.

    We've done ONE medwash with difficult child 2, and the reason for it was because every time something was added to address a particular symptom, something else got worse. He was showing signs of a mood disorder, medications that had worked before no longer did, and we didn't seem to be getting anywhere. We were finally at a point where we weren't sure what we were dealing with anymore and the psychiatrist agreed that it would be best to just start over. Fortunately for us, it was the start of summer vacation so I had the time to do it.

    All that said, it was the absolute WORST summer ever for me and my son. Two weeks off all medications, and then it took about 8 weeks to ramp up the Depakote until it actually started helping and we could safely add a stimulant back in. He was scary and I didn't dare take him out in public unless we were just one-on-one and I could devote my full attention to his every move.

    So I guess I have to ask, if all is going well for your difficult child now, what do you hope to gain for him with a medwash? I'm all for peeling off unnecessary medications, but I'm also in favor of a peaceful and happy life, even if that means better living through chemistry :)
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    My personal belief is that people either need medications or they don't. I don't stop my blood pressure medications because they work and I'm happy with them but I need more sun screen and I'm going to be in the yard in the summer.

    My doctor advises me that if you stop medications once you have a balanced dosage, it's possible that you will never find a balanced dosage again. Even if you do, two and a half months isn't enough time to stop and restart the benefits of a drug. It will take four to six weeks to get it out of the system, and four to six weeks to get the body in sync with it again.

    Either medications are necessary or they aren't. Since you don't doubt their effectiveness, there seems to be no reason to stop them.

    I have to add, it's certain to make your difficult child doubt your ability to make basic decisions about his care if you won't stand by your decision to medicate him when his life has gotten better with the medication. No one wants to medicate their kid, but why mess with success?
  5. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    I stopped my youngest son's Abilify for a a few weeks...what a mistake. I found out it was doing something. Actually I am glad I tried the medication holiday because it didn't seem to be doing much and he had been on it for a couple of years.

    I think that if you have the sense that the medications are really helping you would be crazy to stop. They will probably stop working sometime in the future anyway, so why not enjoy the peace you get. And if you did want to stop, I might try a few days with the Daytrana patch to see what happens, cause with my son we notice even a few hours without Adderall. But I wouldn't stop the Lamictal if you think it is helping, since it will take a while to titrate back up and you also need to titrate it back down if you are going to give it up. Why not enjoy your summer?

    I do sympthasize though as I would like to reduce the medications that my oldest is on. We might try some selective pruning this summer, very slow, very low to see if we can't reduce one or two of them.
  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    As there were blatant indications that the tweedles needed medications & that mistakenly missed doses showed a downward trend, we never attempted a medication vacation.

    Having said that, if I were only dealing with adhd medications I "might" attempt a vacation. That would only be after watching my difficult child on weekends with-o medications to see his/her ability to function in all areas.

    Our kiddos have so many strikes against them I always hate to take away a viable intervention to help them be successful.

    As your difficult child appears to be on lamictal (a hard medication to find the right dose for) I personally wouldn't even go there.
  7. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I must say, I agree with the general consensus here. While it is tempting to think that we could get to a point where our difficult children could overcome the need for medicine, it is unrealistic if there is a mood disorder present. I would be more inclined to stop medication if I wasn't seeing positive results in order to start a new new medicine but if you are seeing positive results, I wouldn't "rock the boat" so to speak.
  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Thanks so much guys, I think I was just doubting myself. Taking a college psychology class will do that to you. I feel guilty that I give him medications, but then they do make a difference. Sometimes it is good to have opinions, hear about experiences from those who have been there done that, and I got it. If we give him a medication break, I would probably find out he needs them, and then like Witz said, it would be hard to get at a good level again. It also popped in my mind that if I stop the medications, he will lose confidence in me as I will appear wishy washy.

    Thanks so much all, I have been having moments of weakness, or chinks in my warrior mom armour. The chinks are fixed and the weakness is resolved. I really do appreciate all the opinions posted. It was what I needed.
  9. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Did it once....will NEVER do it again. It was a nightmare.....